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AUTHENTICATED , 
US. GOVERNMENT 
INFORMATION ^ 


PROS AND CONS OF DRUG LEGALIZATION, 
DECRIMINALIZATION, AND HARM REDUCTION 


HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 
DRUG POLICY, AND HUJilAN RESOURCES 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 
GOA^RNMENT REFORM 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATRH]S 

ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 

JUNE 16, 1999 

Serial No. 106-99 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Government Reform 



Avaiiabie via the Worid Wide Web: http://www.gpo.gov/congress/house 
http ://w ww . h ou se. gov/ref or m 


U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 


63-346 CC 


WASHINGTON : 2000 


COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM 
DAN BURTON, Indiana, Chairman 


BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York 
CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland 
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut 
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida 
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York 
STEPHEN HORN, California 
J OHN L. MICA, Florida 
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia 
DAVID M. MCINTOSH, Indiana 
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana 
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida 
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio 
MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South 
Carolina 

BOB BARR, Georgia 
DAN MILLER, Florida 
ASA HUTCHINSON, Arkansas 
LEE TERRY, Nebraska 
J UDY BIGGERT, Illinois 
GREG WALDEN, Oregon 
DOUG OSE, California 
PAUL RYAN, Wisconsin 
JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California 
HELEN CHENOWETH, Idaho 


HENRY A. WAXMAN, California 
TOM LANTOS, California 
ROBERT E. WISE, J R., West Virginia 
MAJ OR R. OWENS, New York 
EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York 
PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania 
PATSY T. MINK, Hawaii 
CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York 
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, Washington, 
DC 

CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania 
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland 
DENNIS J . KUCINICH, Ohio 
ROD R. BLAGOJ EVICH, Illinois 
DANNY K. DAVIS, Illinois 
JOHN F. TIERNEY, Massachusetts 
J IM TURNER, Texas 
THOMAS H. ALLEN, Maine 
HAROLD E. FORD, J R., Tennessee 
JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY, Illinois 


BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont 
(I ndependent) 


Kevin Binger, Staff Director 
Daniel R. Moll, Deputy Staff Director 
David A. Kass, Deputy Counsd and Pariiamentarian 
Carla J . Martin, Chid" Cierk 
Phil Schiliro, Minority Staff Director 


Subcommittee on Criminal J ustice, Drug Policy, and FIuman Resources 


JOHN L. MICA, Florida, Chairman 


BOB BARR, Georgia 
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York 
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut 
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida 
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana 
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio 
ASA HUTCHINSON, Arkansas 
DOUG OSE, California 


PATSY T. MINK, Hawaii 
EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York 
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland 
DENNIS J . KUCINICH, Ohio 
ROD R. BLAGOJ EVICH, Illinois 
JOHN F. TIERNEY, Massachusetts 
J IM TURNER, Texas 


Ex Officio 

DAN BURTON, Indiana HENRY A. WAXMAN, California 

Robert B. Charles, Staff Director and Chief Counsel 
Sean Littlefield, Professionai Staff Member 
Gilbert Macklin, Professionai Staff Member 
Amy Davenport, Cierk 
Cherri Branson, Minority Counsel 


(II) 



CONTENTS 


Page 

Hearing held on J une 16, 1999 1 

Statement of: 

Leshner, Alan, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse: and Donnie 

Marshall, Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration 104 

McCaffrey, General Barry R., Director, Office of National Drug Control 

Policy 30 

McDonough, J ames, director. Office of Drug Control Policy, State of Flor- 
ida; Scott Ehlers, senior policy analyst. Drug Policy Foundation: Robert 
L. Maginnis, senior director. Family Research Council: David Boaz, 
executive vice president, Cato Institute; and Ira Glasser, executive 

director, American Civil Liberties Union 149 

Letters, statements, et cetera, submitted for the record by: 

Boaz, David, executive vice president, Cato Institute, prepared statement 

of 223 

Ehlers, Scott, senior policy analyst. Drug Policy Foundation, prepared 

statement of 177 

Gilman, Hon. Benjamin A., a Representative in Congress from the State 

of N ew Y ork, T om Constant! ne's paper 11 

Glasser, I ra, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union: 

Article dated December 29, 1997 284 

Prepared statement of 167 

Report entitled, "Narrow Pathways to Prison: The Selective Incarcer- 
ation of Repeat Drug Offenders in New York State" 251 

Kucinich, Hon. Dennis J ., a Representative in Congress from the State 

of Ohio, prepared statement of Kevin Sabbitt 5 

Leshner, Alan, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, prepared 

statement of 107 

Maginnis, Robert L., senior director. Family Research Council, prepared 

statement of 200 

Marshall, Donnie, Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administra- 
tion, prepared statement of 120 

McCaffrey, General Barry R., Director, Office of National Drug Control 

Policy, prepared statement of 33 

McDonough, J ames, director. Office of Drug Control Policy, State of Flor- 
ida, prepared statement of 151 

Mica, Hon. John L., a Representative in Congress from the State of 

Florida: 

Article entitled, "High on a Lie" 293 

I nformation concerning crack smokers directions 289 

Letter dated April 15, 1997 296 

Towns, Hon. Edolphus, a Representative in Congress from the State 
of New York, prepared statement of 98 


(III) 




PROS AND CONS OF DRUG LEGALIZATION, 
DECRIMINALIZATION, AND HARM REDUCTION 


WEDNESDAY, J UNE 16, 1999 

House of Representatives, 

Subcommittee on Criminal J ustice, Drug Policy, 

AND Human Resources, 
Committee on Government Reform, 

Washington, DC. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:15 a.m., in room 
2154, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. John L. Mica (chair- 
man of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Present: Representatives Mica, Barr, Gilman, Souder, Hutch- 
inson, Ose, Mink, Towns, Cummings and Kucinich. 

Staff present: Robert Charles, staff director/chief counsel; An- 
drew Greeley, clerk; Sean Littlefield and Gilbert Macklin, profes- 
sional staff members; Rob Mobley, congressional fellow; Cherri 
Branson, minority counsel; and Ellen Rayner, minority chief clerk. 

Mr. Mica. Good morning, I would like to welcome you to this 
meeting of the Subcommittee on Criminal J ustice. Drug Policy, and 
Human Resources and call this hearing to order. 

It is my understanding that they are concluding a Democratic 
Caucus, and we should be joined by members from the minority 
side. The Republicans are having a conference which is just con- 
cluding, and we should be joined by members from the majority 
side in just a few minutes. But we will go ahead and begin. 

I have an opening statement and I will be followed by others who 
have opening statements today. We have three panels that we will 
hear from. 

The subject of today's hearing is the pros and cons of drug legal- 
ization, decriminalization, and harm reduction. Today the Sub- 
committee on Criminal j ustice. Drug Policy, and Human Resources 
will examine a subject which is frequently talked about but rarely 
the topic of a congressional hearing— that is the question of drug 
legalization. Specifically, we will discuss issues relating to drug 
use, drug offenses, decriminalization, and harm reduction. 

This hearing is just one more in a series of hearings that we 
have held and will continue to hold examining our Nation's drug 
control policy and its effectiveness. As you know, recent statistics 
on drug use by young people are not just worrisome, they are tragic 
and sobering. Methods to deter the use and abuse of dangerous 
substances should be the centerpiece of any serious effort to re- 
verse the rising drug use trends. 

( 1 ) 



2 


The simple truth is that drugs destroy lives. They steal away op- 
portunities that might have been. They produce fatal overdoses, 
fatal accidents, and death by criminal homicide. 

Despite the warm glow of well-intentioned words, the reality is 
hard to miss. Drug overdose deaths continue to plague our metro- 
politan areas, our suburbs, and our schools. There is really no ele- 
ment of our society today untouched by the ravages of illegal nar- 
cotics. Drug use is soaring among our 12th graders. More than 50 
percent of them have tri^ an illicit drug, and more than one in 
four are today a current user. 

There have been serious proposals across our land and here in 
Washington about how to best combat school violence and deal 
with drug traffickers, restore individual and community security, 
and reduce overall youth drug use. These proposals have rang^ 
from l^alization of marijuana for medical use to tough sentencing 
guidelines and needle exchanges. 

Today, we venture into a first-of-its-kind hearing with this sub- 
committee's undertaking to provide new information and also so- 
licit informed opinions from both the policymakers and the public 
on issues relating to drug legalization and decriminalization. The 
often high-pitched debate over legalization of drugs appears to have 
intensified during the past several years. There appears to be more 
public support for these initiatives than there was several years 
ago when they were first proposed. 

My concern is that the media and other opinion leaders are pay- 
ing more attention to drug legalization because there has been in- 
fact a well-financed and internationally and nationally coordinated 
effort championed by several organizations and wealthy backers. 
Quite frankly, I am not certain of their motivation, and I am not 
certain of their end game. 

R^ardless of which seed bed this movement is sprouting from, 
the issue needs to be openly and honestly addressed by both gov- 
ernment and nongovernmental officials. That is why I decided to 
conduct this hearing and conduct additional hearings on this sub- 
ject. That is why today we are bringing together Federal officials 
with responsibility in this area and a sampling of outside policy ex- 
perts. The notion that dangerous drugs might one day be legalized 
has come from a number of sources, including former Surgeon Gen- 
eral j oycelyn Elders, mayor of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke, the press, 
and other opinion leaders. 

If this debate is going to be, as j ustice Brennan once said, as all 
controversial debates should be, open and robust, it must at last be 
joined. Honest debate over these issues, I believe, will benefit the 
American people. Hopefully, we can also act to discredit those who 
promote positions without a basis in fact and add credibility to 
those who have facts on their side. The American public should un- 
derstand the policy implications of legalization, decriminalization 
and harm reduction. They need to hear both sides of this debate, 
that is why we begin today, hopefully, in a civil and well-informed 
discussion. 

There are many facets and nuances to this debate. However, I 
would like to take just a few moments to share my personal views 
on several issues. 



3 


As many of you know, I have been highly critical at times of this 
administration's drug policies and budget priorities. For a number 
of years, this administration flounder^ without specific goals or 
objectives in a coherent drug control policy. General McCaffrey has 
helped to change that direction, but in the prior leadership vacu- 
um, substantial ground was lost and the war on drugs was nearly 
closed down. That said, I believe this void helped provide momen- 
tum to the current drive toward legalization and decriminalization. 

The problems associated with drug use are not simple and will 
not respond to simple solutions. I believe that there have been vic- 
tories and successes in the fight against drug trafficking and drug 
use and abuse; however in my own view, we can and must do more. 
The alternative isn't very pretty. In fact, the alternative may be 
consigning a generation to addiction and drug dependency in un- 
precedented numbers. We cannot step backward after beginning to 
move forward. 

The 50 percent drop in drug users, from 15.4 million in 1979 to 
a little over 12 million in 1992, and the 75 percent drop in cocaine 
use between a measured peak in 1985 of 5.7 million to a bottom 
of 1.4 million in 1992 are what I would term successes. As many 
of you know, these successes were the combined result of a strong 
parents' movement and a strong Federal antidrug policy. In New 
York City, we have seen that tough enforcement has reduced crime, 
murder, and drug abuse. 

In the past few years, we have restarted, I believe, effective 
eradication and source country programs. We have also begun an 
unprecedented education and demand reduction program. It is im- 
portant that before we reverse course, we must carefully examine 
what has worked and what has failed. If we can identify effective 
treatment for those incarcerated or those afflicted with drug addic- 
tion, nothing should stand in our way to provide care to those indi- 
viduals. Flowever, we cannot turn our backs on felonious conduct 
and issue those who traffic and deal in deadly substances a license 
to destroy lives. 

Today's hearing solicits initial comments from this administra- 
tion; and, as I said, we will have a sampling of experts on the sub- 
ject today. This is our first hearing in a series of hearings that I 
hope will provide factual testimony on the questions of drug legal- 
ization, decriminalization and harm reduction. 

Those are my opening comments. As I said, we have three panels 
we will hear from shortly. 

I am pleased that we have been joined by our ranking member. 
I know she may be out of breath in running back, but I am de- 
lighted to recognize her at this time, the gentlelady and ranking 
member, as I said, Mrs. Mink from Flawaii. You are recognized. 

Mrs. Mink. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do apologize for being 
late. 

The Democratic Caucus was convened this morning on a very im- 
portant matter: juvenile justice. The majority leadership reoriented 
the debate procedure, as you know, at the last minute so we have 
been trying to sort things out. Flalf of the bill came out of my Com- 
mittee on Education and the Workforce, which has now been 
pulled, so things are in somewhat of a disarray, and I apologize for 
being late. 



4 


I will insert my remarks at a later point. I would like at this 
time to yield a few minutes to Dennis Kucinich, who has an intro- 
duction to make. 

Mr. Kucinich. With the permission of the chair, with unanimous 
consent, I would like to introduce 

Mr. Mica. Without objection. 

Mr. Kucinich. Thank you very much. I would like to introduce 
Kevin Sabbitt from the Community Antidrug Coalition. If Kevin 
could stand. Kevin is one of the many young people from across 
this country who is working on strategies to quell the use of drugs 
in communities. He had some remarks, with the permission of the 
chair, I would like with unanimous consent to be included in the 
record. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, so ordered. 

Mr. Kucinich. I might mention that Kevin's involvement and 
testimony was called to my attention by the wife of the Governor 
of the State of Ohio, Mrs. Hope Taft, who called me and asked me 
if I would communicate this to the chair. I would certainly appre- 
ciate your indulgence and the committee's indulgence. 

Mr. Mica. We are very pleased for his participation. Without ob- 
jection, his remarks will be made a part of the record. 

Mr. Kucinich. Thank you. Mrs. Mink, thank you. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. 

[The information referred to follows:] 



5 


Submitted by Kevin A. Sabet 
June 16, 1999 


Subcommittee on Criminai Justice, Drug Policy, and Human 

Resources 

Hearing on Drug Legalization 


The dialogue regarding illegal drug use, and whether or not drugs 
should be legalized, is one where I feel should rest largely with youth. 
As a 20 year old college student at the University of California, 
Berkeley, I have seen the effects that drugs harbor in a large 
community, on many disinherited individuals, on the family unit, and 
especially on a college campus. Youth offer a unique perspective and 
remind us that they will most greatly be affected by the policies 
shaped today that aim at improving tomorrow. 

We know what drugs do to our body. Sound scientific research has 
shown that our current illegal drugs -- heroin, cocaine, 
methamphetamines, marijuana, LSD, and others - have disastrous 
effects on our bodies. At the same time, social research has shown 
the effects that drugs have on our communities; the criminal element 
they very much quicken, the environmental disintegration their use 
enhances, and the feeling of helplessness they give to all in their 
way. 

The youth of today have grown up in a generation -- the first of its 
kind -- where drug use was explicitly denounced and rejected. We 
have been led by parents, teachers, and other concerned individuals 
in thinking rightfully, that drug use is wrong, unnatural, and should be 
prevented. A concerted movement in the 1980's reduced drug use on 
all levels, taught my generation of the harms it entails, and even 
stopped the horrible statistic of the late 70's where people of my age 
were the only age group whose death rates actually increased, 
according to a guide put out by the American Psychiatric Press and 
Robert DuPont. Thus, this movement shaped attitudes, which in turn 
altered behavior. 



6 


However, as of late, many individuals and well-funded organizations 
have advocated policies that are a slippery slope towards destruction 
and away from any further progress. This outrages me. This outrages 
me that there are people out there claiming to care for my generation 
- in iight of understanding what drugs can do to a community and to 
an individual - who support policies that accept its use as a naturai 
part of growing up, just another element of being a "free" kid growing 
up in the land of liberty. Weil that's wrong. And it's a sham. 

Come to my schooi, in Berkeley, and you will see the crowning glory 
of something some called "harm reduction." Where organizations like 
the Drug Policy Foundation, fund groups like the Berkeiey Cannabis 
Consumers Union, and the Cannabis Action Network. These 
organizations not only don't reject drug use, they claim its use is 
beneficial. Or the Drug Policy Foundation's funding of the needle- 
exchange and handout programs in the Bay Area. All part of 
something in a neat little package, that they call "harm reduction," 
that they define as, "reducing the harm that drugs do to an individual." 
But that any subjective, fair-minded individuai would call drug 
legalization. 

This isn't fair. It's not fair to my generation to be tricked with 
legalization euphemisms like harm reduction, or medicalization. It’s 
not fair to the hundreds of thousands of individuals in this country that 
work day and night to help shape attitudes to stop its use. And it's not 
fair to youth as Americans, for, at their core, drug use threatens the 
root of democratic life and destroys any sense of liberty that wiil guide 
us to a brighter tomorrow. 

its been often said that our drug laws and strategy - prohibition - 
takes away from our rights as citizens. However, do we forget that 
our rights do come with responsibilities? The right to speak to 
someone cannot be divorced from the responsibility the speaker has 
in not being slanderous. The right to marry cannot be separated from 
the responsibility one spouse has on the other to not hurt them. 
Similarly, the right of freedom of expression, cannot be untied to the 
responsibility of being unhurtful to all. Drugs, however, rob us from 
any kind of sense of responsibility. We have no right to do them. 



7 


As a student from California, I have seen the disastrous effects that 
another trick had on my generation, when citizens legalized smoked 
marijuana for so-called medical purposes. I have sat and listened to 
hundreds of my peers talking to me about the merits of smoking pot, 
when asked where their information came from, they reply TV and 
from the media. Dr. James Fleming, Superintendent of a school 
district in Orange County, California noted that he had received a 
significant increase in the amount of marijuana offenses from school 
youth the first month after marijuana was legalized from November- 
December 1996. This is wrong, and it is shameful to our youth, to my 
peers, to the leaders of tomorrow. 

Harm reduction is a policy with the words "inevitable" and "hopeless" 
etched deeply in its definition. I don't think drug use is inevitable. We 
have seen prevention work, and we know it can. So why then, on the 
brink of the 21st century, are we not united in a belief that drug use is 
harmful and that all should be done to stop its use? Why does this 
dialogue continue to occur? At this stage - when many others and I 
have seen our best friends die from drugs, our sports stars fall to it, 
and our entertainment icons crumble because of it ~ must we 
continue this? 

If we truly want to lower the body count that drug use will stack up by 
the time my generation no longer makes up the young people in 
America but in fact composes our work force and leaders, we need to 
stand united in our belief that drug use is wrong and that it is our 
responsibility to prevent it. America's future generation of leaders 
deserves no less. For if we don't take this issue seriously and unite 
behind the science and common sense that guides our current drug 
policy, millions of new addicts and a new generation of drug abuse 
victims await. 

Kevin Sabet is a 20 year old University of California Berkeley Junior. Majoring in 
Political Science and Public Policy, he comes to CADCA this summer as an 
intern for Policy Consultant Sue Thau. Having been involved in drug prevention 
since age 14, he is the Past President of IMPACT: Students Making A 
Difference, the nation's largest anti-drug coalition for youth. Currently he serves 
as the California Delegate to Drug Watch International, and is the Founder and 
President of Citizens for a Drug-Free Berkeley, He has submitted testimony to 
Congress and advised national anti-drug coalitions informally and as a member 
of many boards of directors, including advise to CNN, CBS, and the San Jose 



8 


Mercury-News, on subjects such as medical marijuana, drug legalization, and the 
importance of youth participation in drug prevention. In the Fall of 1999, he will 
begin his second term as a Senator for the Associated Students of the University 
of California (ASUC). He is also the Founder and President of International 
Students in Action, an arm of National Families in Action in Atlanta, Georgia. 


Kevin A. Sabet 

ASUC Senator; Chair, Constitutional & Procedural Review Comm. 

President and CEO, International Students In Action 

Bus. 510.642.1431 

Fax. 510.643.6396 

email: ksabet@uclink4.berkeiey.edu 



9 


Mr. Mica. I am pleased now to recognize our ranking member on 
this side, who is the chairman of the International Relations Com- 
mittee, the gentleman from New York, Mr. Gilman. 

Mr. Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I want to thank you for conducting what I consider to be a very 
important hearing today on this controversial issue of the legaliza- 
tion of mind-altering drugs. I also want to thank you for bringing 
some excellent witnesses, including General McCaffrey and Dr. 
Leshner and Mr. Marshall, our Deputy Administrator of the DEA, 
Mr. McDonough, Mr. Ehlers, Mr. Maginnis, Mr. Boaz and Ira 
Glasser. I think you have an excellent set of witnesses today that 
should help to focus our attention on this very important issue. 

Legalization is virtually a surrender to despair. It cannot and 
should not be any topic of serious discussion in our Nation's debate 
on the challenges of illicit drugs. Hopefully by the time this hearing 
is over, we will make it clear that this is certainly not the direction 
in which any drug policy should be headed now, or ever. 

Most importantly, we must not be perceived as sending mixed 
and confusing messages on illicit drug use to our young people. Il- 
licit drugs are wrong, they are destructive, they are not rec- 
reational, they are deadly— nothing more, nothing less. 

We have a firm, moral obligation not to lead our citizens into any 
spiral of despair and substance dependency through the legaliza- 
tion of mind-altering substances. 

As Tom Constantine, our DEA Administrator, who is also a great 
cop and proven drug fighter, said so well at our November 1997, 
international antidrug conference in Scotland, "for those elites who 
proposed legalization, let them start in their own families and in 
their own school districts and then we can better evaluate this op- 
tion." 

Looking down from an ivory tower, it may be easy to throw up 
your hands and say it is time to surrender to the scourge of illicit 
drugs. But let those who offer such an unsophisticated solution, 
which avoids the hard choices and the difficult battles, first pass 
the Constantine home and school test if they want credibility in ad- 
vocating legalization. 

And for those who would despair in our fight against illicit drugs, 
let me state unequivocally that we can and we have made progress 
in fighting drugs in the past. Between 1985 and 1992, we reduced 
monthly cocaine usage in our Nation by nearly 80 percent, nearly 
an 80 percent reduction. There aren't many Federal programs that 
can claim that rate of success with such a difficult and a challeng- 
ing problem as illicit drug use. 

We made that kind of remarkable progress through a good public 
relations campaign, through Mrs. Reagan's J ust Say No theme, and 
through a balanced, evenhanded supply and demand approach. Any 
balanced strategy in our Nation's drug war must include a reduc- 
tion in both supply and demand and it must be simultaneous. By 
reducing supply, we have to eradicate the product at its source, we 
have to interdict when it gets into the mainstream of distribution, 
and we have to enforce when it reaches our shorelines, be able to 
arrest, convict and put away the drug traffickers. And in reducing 
demand, we have to educate our young people about the dangers 
of drug use, and we have to treat and rehabilitate the victims. 



10 


We have to do all of those things simultaneously. You can't take 
funding from one of those elements and give it to another. 

I am looking forward to today's testimony. I hope that we may 
initiate the beginning of the end of this misguided and unfortunate 
debate about legalization. This debate detracts us from the impor- 
tant aspects of what we are trying to do, a debate that would take 
us in the wrong direction for both our Nation and our young peo- 
ple's future and well-being. 

Mr. Chairman, I want to make certain that we refer in the 
record to DEA Administrator Tom Constantine's paper, as deliv- 
ered in Austria this past January at another important inter- 
national drug conference. DEA Administrator Constantine recounts 
as part of that excellent paper the impact of the de facto legaliza- 
tion of illicit drugs in the city of Baltimore. He stated that the 
strategy used in Baltimore was a lost strategy. 

Chairman Mica, who participated in that Austrian conference, 
frequently cites the DEA Baltimore heroin figures. That startling 
data indicates that there exists one heroin addict for every 17 peo- 
ple in that nearby city. 

Mr. Constantine's paper outlines the extensive devastation and 
adverse impact that heroin has had on the Baltimore community 
when it took a laissez-faire approach to the use of illicit drugs. Let 
no community follow Baltimore's example. 

Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that Administrator Con- 
stantine's Vienna paper be included in the record of these proceed- 
ings. 

Before closing, I would like to commend General McCaffrey for 
the outstanding job he has done in focusing attention on the drug 
war in our Nation and trying to elicit support for what our Nation 
should be doing to eliminate this very critical problem in our Na- 
tion. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentleman. Without objection, the paper 
that you referred to will be made a part of the record. 

[The information referred to follows:] 



11 


t: 


,, mtcrnafiouaLDruy Tigfficking 
Law EtifarcemeLit- Chafreng.c»fet:’thG!; Next Century 
.. ,,11^ Thomas A* Cans^antino 

' ’ o^tfiV ^ 


» ‘Acminisfralor 


^ j Drug Enfoiccment Administration 

Januaiy. iqq^ 5 :' >■ • ' 

-- - --- -i- ...ii 


Introduction: The problem posed by 
international drug trafficking syndicates 
affects many nations and is growing more 
complex every year. This paper outlines the 
history of organized crime involvement in 
narcotics trafficking and provides information 
on how American organized crime, and 
presently, internationally-based organized 
crime, have adversely affected the quality of 
life for millions of Americans and citizens of 
other nations throughout the past several 
decades. Recently, it has become evident that 
the international drug groups based in ™“AXmnisrator"**”^ 
Colombia and Mexico have reached new 
levels of sophistication and have become a 

threat not only to their own nations but to other nations in Latin America, the 
United States and Europe. Their power and influence are being witnessed on 
an unprecedented scale, and unless irmovative, flexible and multi-faceted 
responses are crafted, these drug trafficking organizations threaten to grow 
even more powerful in the years ahead. While this paper concentrates on the 
law enforcement approaches that have been taken over the years to identify, 
target, arrest and bring to justice organized crime leaders, it is understood that 
many strategies — including prevention, education, treatment, diplomatic 
and political actions — must be taken to ensure that nations can successfully 
confront and repair the damage that international drug trafficking syndicates 
inflict on every nation they touch. 




12 


Key Points: This paper provides background iirformation in a number of areas 
and makes the following points: 

Organized Crime control of narcotics distribution: As a clear picture of 
American organized crime emerged during the 1950’ s and 1960’s, it was evident 
that the five organized crime families in New Y ork controlled much of the nation’ s 
heroin business. At that time, America’s drag problem was limited to a relatively 
small number of individuals, many of whom lived in urban areas along the East 
Coast of the United States. During their heyday, American organized crime 
obtained heroin from their sources of supply in Europe and distributed it to retail 
markets in a number of communities. The organization’s tight structure ensured 
that information on the extent of their involvement in the drug trade was closely 
controlled, and they routinely employed violence, intimidation and corruption to 
further their goals. Eventually, aggressive law enforcement strategies and tactics 
were designed and employed, particularly under the leadership of Attorney 
General Robert Kennedy, and these led to the dismantling of American organized 
crime. One main difference between the American organized crime and the 
international drug trafficking syndicates that followed was the fact that American 
organized crime carried out all of their activities on U.S. soil and they therefore 
were vulnerable to U.S, law enforcement activities. With the breakup of the 
French Coimection, and with the emergence of the Colombian and other 
international organized crime syndicates as the predominant drug trafficking 
force from the 1970’s to the present day, the American organized crime role in 
drug trafficking diminished. . 

Trie rise of cocaine during the 1970’s changed the American drug 
picture forever: During the 1960’s, American attitudes and behaviors 
regarding drug use began to change dramatically. Only five percent of the 
populationhad tried drugs in the early 1960’s and that percentage eventually rose 
to over 30% by 1979, when drug use levels were at their highest. When cocaine 
came onto the American scene, millions of people believed it was a benign drug 
that could be used recreationally . The introduction of crack cocaine on a national 
scale in 1985 ushered in an era of violence, addiction and hopelessness which 
corresponded to a period when violent crime rates increased over 50%, and 
murders increased by 3 1 %. 


a 



The Colombiafj cocaine syndicates mcciaied ftemseJves after American organized crime 
but were more powerful and ruthiess than any of their predscsssors: The Colombian groups 
controlled the cocaine trade from start to fimsh and their power and influence grew as the cocaine and cradc 
epidemic took hold during the 1970’s and 1980’ s. The Medellin organization established themselves as 
violent, ruthless drug traffickers who amassed a great fortune at the same lime they terrorized Colombia The 
Cali organization was more reticent about using the random violence that became the Medellin organization 
hallmark, but despite their outward demeanor of legitimacy, the Cali group also employed violence on a more 
specific basis — even in the United States — intimidate or obtain retribution against rivals, public officials 
or other individuals. The Cali organizational stractnre was similar to American organized crime in its tight 
control of woiksrs and compartmentalized hierarchy, but the CaH organization was far more powerful and 
sophisticated than any American organized crime femdies they emulated, with state-of-the-art 
communications systems, counterintelligence capabilities and transportation netwaks. 

Organized crime groups from iVJeitico learned lessons from Ihelr Colombian practecassors 
and have assumed a great deal of power in their owrj right: Drug traffickers fromColombiaforged 
an alliance with well-established poly-drug smugglers from Mexico during the late 1980’ s. This alliance, the 
arrest of the Cali leaders in 1995 and 1996, and the Mexico-based syndicates’ emergence as major 
methamphetamine producers and traffickers all contributed to maldngthe Mexico-based groups amajorforce 
in international drug trafficking. These organizations are wealthy and violent. Presently the criminal 
organizations based in Mexico represent the major challenge to victims of crime because of their power, their 
involvement in the eastward-spreading methamphetamine trade, and their propensity for violence. 

The current heroin problem poses a major new ihreal to the United States: Independent 
traffickers fromColombia slowly and methodically began producing and traffickuighigh quality heroin tothe 
United States in the early 1990’s. Presently, they have surpassed all of their rivals fi-om Southeast and 
Southwest Asia in U.S. heroin market share, and their savvy marketing techniques have resulted in a whole 
new group of heroin users in the United States. Many of these users begin smoking high purity heroin, 
believing that they will not become addiaed; however, recent statistics indicate that many new heroin users 
have resorted to shooting up, and numbers of them are dying from overdoses. 

Law enforoamem solutions ara efiactivs in icleniih/sng, largefing and dismantling drug 
syndicates and raducing violent crime: Aggressive law enforcement has worked in the United States 
as is evident in the current diminished state of American organized crime. In Colombia, aggressive law 
enforcement activities resulted in the dismantling of the Medellin and Cali syndicates. Additionally, law 
enforcement officials in Italy and Thailand were aggressive in their sustained law enforcement targeting of 
the command and control mechanisms of organized crime groups, vividly illustrated by the diminished 
capacity of the mafia in Italy, and the arrest and extradition of several major heroin traffickers from Thailand 
to the United States. Given sufficient support and time, the law enforcement csqrabiUties in Mexico should 
improve and lead to similar long-term results. Law errforcement has also had a tremendous impact on the 
levels of violent crime in communities arormd the United Stales; these levels have dropped dramatically in 
places like New York, Los Angeles and Houston, cities that were hardest hit by the crack epidemic and the 
proliferation of violent criminals during the past decade. Consistent, aggressive law enforcement is one of the 
most effective solutions to the problems posed by violent drag trafficking in the United States and in other 
nations. 



14 



I appreciate this opportunity to address the UiN. Drug Control Program Seminar today, and to 
speak with you on a number of topics that are critical to successfully addressing the complex narcotics 
problems which unfortunately plague too many of our nations. My comments today win focus on 
four central points which are woven throughout this presentation. First, that today’ s world has been 
transformed during the past thirty years due to rapidly advancing technology, transportation, 
communications, and political and economic shifts which are even more evident with the collapse 
of the Soviet Union; second, that the drug distribution problem in the United States, and increasingly, 
the rest of the world, is controlled by powerflil international organized crime syndicates; third, that 
vigorous law erf orcement can and does have a major impact on international organized crime and 
the international drug trade, when the top leadership of these international syndicates is targeted; 
and fourth, that law enforcement can and does have a major impact on the violence that has become 
so closely associated with organized dmg distribution. 

The American i/iaia and Drugs Befcre 1970 

Well before the advent of today’s drag epidemic which has affected far too many American 
communities, American policy-makers were deeply concerned about the impact that organized 
crime was having on our nation. Over the last eighty-five years, the United States government has 
initiated a number of major smdies or reviews to identify major organized crime groups and gain 
insight into how these organizations operated. The fact that organized crime controls the distribution 
of drugs has been substantiated by a number of U.S. Government studies. 

During the 1950’s, American interest in organized crime dramatically increased. Senator Estes 
Kefauver convened a Congressional committee in 1950 to investigate the links between interstate 
gambling and organized crime. During these hearings, the Senators noted that organized crime 
involvement was also evident in prostitution, drug trafficking, extortion and public corruption. In 
1958, a clearer picture of organized crime emerged with the hearings sponsored by the Select 
Committee on Improper Activities in Labor. This committee was convened after the existence of 
organized crime, or the mafia, was confirmed by a New Y ork State trooper, Edgar Croswell. Trooper 
Croswell located a meeting of mafia leaders in the upstate New York village of Appalachia where 
mob leaders met to discuss plans for greater involvement in the drag trade. 


1 





15 


During 1963, Senator McClellan sponsored a series of hearings which clearly demonstrated that the 
American mafia was alive and well, had a defined structure and code of behavior. Joe Valachi, a 
low-level member of the mafia, testified about the details of his life in organized crime and presented 
a first-hand view of La Cosa Nostra. These televised hearings educated average Americans about 
the violence and intimidations used by the mafia to attain their goals. 

The President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Justice, established in 1967, arrived at a 
definition of organized crime as a “society that seeks to operate outside the control of the American 
people and their Government It involves thousands of criminals working vrithin structures as large 
as those of any corporation.” Despite the fact that this definition was written over thirty years ago, 
it still accurately describes the essential nature of organized crime today. 

As Government commissions delved into the inner workings of the American mafia, millions of 
average people learned how the mafia was structured and how it operated. Critical to the success of 
the mafia was its tight structuie: at the top level was aftoss, or head of the family; next, aaunderbossi 
then a consigliere, or an advisor; then a capo who oversaw the day to day work of the organization; 
and then the soldier, who carried out the criminal activities of the group. The American mafia was 
controlled by twenty-four families, all of whom lived and operated within the United States. Their 
day-to-day activities included racketeering, prostitution, gambling, drugs, murders for hire, 
intimidation and protection rackets. To understand the scale of organized crime during the 1960’s 
and 1970’s it is important to note that New York’s Genovese family included as many as twenty 
capos and 450 soldiers who carried out orders. Violence and intimidation were also a routine part of 
the mafia’s inner workings, including the use of violence to protect their organization and target 
public officials for assassination. 

The role of violence and intimidation were well-illustrated at the 1963 McClellan hearings and 
amplified twenty-three years later during the 1986 President’s Commission on Organized Crime. In 
their final report, the commission wrote that: “Violence and the threat of violence are an integral 
part of the criminal group. Both are used as means of control and protection against members of the 
group who violate their commitment and those outside the group to protect it and maximize its 
power. Members were expected to commit, condone or authorize violent acts.” 

The Commission also noted the propensity for organized crime to breed corruption and flourish in 
an environment of cormpt officials. “Corraption is the central tool of the criminal protectors. The 
criminal group relies on a network of corrupt officials to protect the group from the criminal justice 
system. The success of organized crime is dependent upon this buffer, which helps to protect the 
criminal group from both civil and criminal government action.” Violence, intimidation and 
corruption continue today to be essential tools used by international oiganized crime — ^particularly 
the international organized drug syndicates operating from Colombia and Mexico — ^to ensure their 
dominant positions in the world today. 


2 



16 


The history of organized crime cannot be accurately told without a brief overview of the history of 
America’s drug problem. Early on, reporting on American drug addiction was done at the federal, 
state and local levels by social service agencies. Gradually, federal law enforcement agencies became 
involved in reporting on addiction levels, and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), a predecessor 
agency of the Drag Enforcement Administration gathered statistics on drug addiction during the 
mid 1950’ s. By 1 957, the FBN estimated that there were over 44,000 addicts, although many experts 
believed the number was closer to 100,000. 


A snapshot of the drag situation in Baltimore, Maryland in 1950 compared with 1997 illustrates 
how the scale of the drug problem has changed dramatically over the years. In 1950, Baltimore had 
300 addicts out of apopulation of 949,708, meaning that one in 3 166 individuals residing in Baltimore 
was a heroin addict In 1997, 38,985 heroin addicts were reported in Baltimore, representing the 
fact that there is now one heroin addict for every 17 residents of Baltimore. 



While the type of drug used by these drug addicts 
was not specified in FBN reporting, the 
predominant drug of choice at the time was 
heroin. And with the majority of addicts reported 
in the New York area, it is no surprise to learn 
that the five mafia families of New York 
controlled the heroin market in 20 major cities 
around the nation. Reporting on the heroin 
situation during the 1950’s-1970’s, the 
President’ s Commission on Law Enforcement in 
1986 stated that; “the LCN (Cosa Nostra) 
controlled an estimated 95 % of aU of the heroin 
entering New York City, as well as most of the 
heroin distributed throughout the United States.” 
New York’s crime families obtained heroin from 
their Corsican sources who worked with French 
seamen to bring the heroin to the United States. 
Once there, it was distributed by the organized 
crime families to dealers working in low-income, 
minority communities. 

Changes in the heroin trade between the 1950’s 
and the late 1970’s resulted in new sources of 
heroin available on the streets of the United 
States, and paved the way for the introduction of 
cocaine during the seventies. After the French 
Connection was broken, and the American mob’s 
source of supply diminished. New York was no 
longer the main focus of drug trafficking 
activities. 


3 




17 


In 1 986, the President’ s Commission on Organized Crime reported that the mafia’ s monopoly on 
heroin distribution ended in 1972 “when under diplomatic pressure from the United States, Turkey 
banned opium production and the French Connection collapsed. Amsterdam replaced Marseilles 
as the center of European heroin traffic, and Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami joined New York 
City as major U.S. distribution centers. Other trafficidi^ groups rose to compete with the LCN 
for heroin dollars in New York City and throughout the country.” 

The Hiss of Cocaine 

When cocaine entered the American drug scene in the 1970’ s, no one predicted how this drag 
would change the nature and scope of the international drug trade forever. Societal changes in 
America during the I960’ s prepared the way for this new drug epidemic; the prevalence of illicit 
drug use in the United Stales had increased dramatically in a short period of time. During the 
sixties, less than five percent of the population had an experience with illicit drugs. By the early 
1970’ s, that percentage had doubled to over 10%, and by 1979, when drug use in America peaked 
with almost a third of the population having tried drugs during a lifetime, it was dear that millions 
of Americans viewed drug use as normalized behavior. 

Prior to the 1960’s American drug use was limited to specific segments of American society — 
artists, underworld elites, and individuals living on the edge of society. When cocaine was 
aggressively marketed during the 1970’ s as a benign, chic drug, Americans believed that it could 
be used recreationaily without long-term consequences. Few people fully underetood the addictive 
nature of cocaine and it was not until the crack epidemic in the 1980’s played out that American 
society appreciated how dangerous and destructive cocaine really was. 

Crack was first reported in California and Texas, and its abuse was considered a local problem 
until 1985 when it spread quickly to almost every state and its use had become a major national 
medical and law enforcement crisis. Crack was far more addictive than powder cocaine and was 
marketed as a low-price alternative to cocaine, making it readily available to poor people in urban 
and rural areas. It also created tremendous violence in the user and contributed significantly to 
the escalating crime rates and social problems which plagued America during the 1980’s and 
early 1990’ s. Between 1984 and 1993, when the crack epidemic raged, violent crime in the United 
States increased over 50% and murders increased by 3 1 %. 

But the most dramatic change wrought by the introduction of cocaine to America in the last 
twenty five years was the rise of the international organized criminal syndicates from Colombia. 


4 



18 


Organized Crime in the 19BG’s; Cocaine and the Coiombian Mafias 

At the epicenter of the modem drug trade, Colombian drug mafias thrived in an atmosphere of 
violence, intimidation and corraption. They took advantage of their country’ s geography to build 
an empire of unprecedented proportions. Close to Bolivia and Peru, where coca had been grown 
for centuries, Colombia had coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, giving 
traffickers ample routes to send their product to the United States. The first major cocaine 

organizations to dominate the trade were 
based in Medellin, Colombia. The Medellin 
group, led by Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, 
the Ochoa brothers and Gonzalo Rodriguez 
Gacha, was organized along the model of a 
multi-national corporation with regional 
cocaine manufacturing and distribution 
networks controlled by mid-level managers 
who transported cocaine to the United States 
and Europe by air, land and sea. These 
organizations also established complex 
international financial networks to launder 
their cocaine profits. 

Violence and intimidation were also essential to the criminal enterprises of the MedeHin group 
who employed an army of security forces to carry out acts of terror and assassinations. These 
private armies murdered hundreds of Colombian police officials, judges, journalists, and innocent 
people, including a Justice Minister and Presidential candidate. Two terrorist acts carried out by 
the Medellin group included the bombing of an Avianca airliner in 1989, which killed 110 
people, and the bombing of the Department of Administrative Security (DAS) headquarters in 
December 1989, which killed 50 people and wounded 200. 

Eventually, the Medellin cartel fell as its leaders were arrested or killed. Carlos Lehder was 
extradited to the United States in 1987 and Rodriguez Gacha was killed in a shootout with 
Colombian authorities in 1989. Extradition was outlawed by the Colombian Government in 
1991 and soon after, the Ochoa brothers and Pablo Escobar surrendered to the Government to 
take advantage of the lenient sentences and prison conditions available to them. After a period 
during which Escobar ran his lucrative cocaine business from Envigado Prison, and after ordering 
the killing of a score of his associates, Escobar escaped from prison but was killed in a shootout 
with police in December 1993, after a lengthy manhunt by Colombian police officials. 



5 




19 


As the Medellin cartel disintegrated, the Cali mafia quietly coalesced and assumed power equal to 
their predecessors.’ Beginning as a loose association of five independent drug trafficking 
organizations, the Cali mafia employed many of the principle used by the traditional Italian mafia. 
Led by the Rodriguez-Orejuela brothers, Jose Santa Cruz Londono and Pacho Herrera, the Cali 
mafia was far more sophisticated than the Medellin group and eventually became deeply involved 
in all aspects of the cocaine trade, including production, transportation, wholesale distribution and 
money laundering. Whereas the Medellin group seemed to revel in the terror and violence that 
became their trademark — and ultimately contributed to their downfall— the Cali mafia attempted to 
avoid indiscriniinate violence, further contributing to their image as legitimate businessmen. 

However, when the Cali mafia employed violence to attain their goals — and they frequently did — 
it was precise and exacting. In the aftermath of the arrests of the Cali drug mafia leaders by the 
Colombian National Police in 1995, Cali assassins killed more than a dozen suspected government 
informants. They also used violence within the United States when necessary, as evidenced in the 
murder of the journalist Manuel de Dios Unanue, an outspoken critic of the Cali mafia who w'as 
murdered in Queens, New York in 1992. In May, 1996, John Harold Mena, who was in charge of 
the Cali mafia’s New York operations testified in court that Jose Santacruz Londono had ordered de 
Dios’ murder. 

A key to the Cali mafia’s success was its tight organizational stracture. Their vast responsibilities 
and their intricate distribution networks in the United States necessitated that the Cali mafia rely on 
a sophisticated system which ensured maximmn efficiency and minimal risk. Drag trafficking 
organizations from Colombia had always controlled the cocaine trade from top to bottom. Within 
South America, the Cali mafia, and before them, the Medellin group, depended upon the acquisition 
of tons of coca products from Bolivia and Peru which was then converted into cocaine HCl, generally 
in Colombia. These labs in Colombia ranged from simple labs to complex compounds where it was 
possible to produce up to one metric ton of cocaine per week. 

The mafias also devised ingenious ways to deliver tons of cocaine to the United States and Europe 
over the years. Routes and techniques have been refined during the past several decades, and today 
over half of the cocaine entering the United States is shipped from Colombia through Mexico. 
Currently, maritime vessels are the primary means used by traffickers to smuggle cocaine from 
South America to Mexico, using the Pacific or Caribbean routes; traffickers are also using the 
highways of Central America to transport tons of cocaine from Colombia into Mexico. For a period 
of time, it was customary for traffickers from Colombia to .ship metric ton quantities of cocaine into 
Mexico by plane but that method is less common at the current time. Once the cocaine is safely 
delivered to traffickers in Mexico, independent Mexico-based transportation groups subcontracted 
by the Colombian trafficking organizations arrange for the delivery of the cocaine to contacts within 
the United States. 


6 



20 


Colombian Mafia Structure Within the United States 

During their heyday, the Cali mafia also relied on a complex distribution network within the United 
States, and the system they set in place is still being used on a daily basis in many major U.S. cities. 
Using an intricate system of “cells” within the United States, the Colombian trafficking groups set 
up a presence in a number of geographic areas. Using the cell model employed by international 
terrorist organizations, the Colombian mafias carry out specialized functions such as the storage of 
cocaine, transportation, communications, money laundering, security, wholesale distribution, 
penonnel and inventoiy , which are all handled by employees of the cell. Each cell employs between 
10-25 individuals who operate with little or no knowledge about the membership or responsibilities 
of other cells carrying out tasks within the same or other cities. 

Typically, the head of each cell reports to a regional director who manages several cells. This 
regional director, in turn, reports directly to one of the major drug lords of a particular organization 
or their designee, based in Colombia. Characterizing the way these groups operate is a rigid, top- 
down command and control structure where trusted lieutenants have day-to-day operating 
responsibilities, with the ultimate power residing in those leaders in Colombia. Upper echelon 
members of these cells are generally family members or long time associates who have gained the 
trust of the handful of mafia leaders running the empire. The cell heads are typically recruited for 
the mafia’s overseas assignments from the criminal “talent pool” in the syndicate stronghold cities 
of Cali, Medellin or Bogota. The cells are also comprised of other trustworthy individuals ftom 
Colombia, the Dominican Republic or Cuba, for instance. 

Because the mafia bosses are headquartered overseas, it is necessary for them to establish a workable 
communications system which protects the content of their communications and provides operatives 
with enough information to accomplish specific tasks. The cell members report on a daily basis to 
their bosses in Colombia using cellular phones, faxes, pagers and other communications methods. 
Additionally, the drug lords have employed an aggressive counter-surveillance system to thwart 
law enforcement including the use of staged drug transactions on communications devices they 
believe are monitored; limited-time use of cell phones and pagers (generally 2-4 weeks); calling 
cards and encrypted communications devices. 

The Colombian trafficking groups have traditionally concentrated their activities on the wholesale 
drug distribution level and have employed an array of operatives within the United States to distribute 
drugs on a retail basis. Criminals from diverse ethnic groups including Dominicans, Mexicans, 
Cubans, Jamaicans, as well as African Americans, are used by Colombian drug bosses to distribute 
cocaine, crack, and now heroin. The groups involved in drug retailing — including established gangs 
such as the Crips, the Bloods and Jamaican “posses” — are those groups predominantly responsible 
for the violence and murders that characterize the crack trade within the United States. 


7 



21 


The Rise of Organised Crime Groups frons Mexico in tha ISSO's 

The influence and power of organized crime groups from Mexico, fueled by the enormous profits 
generated by their involvement in the drug trade, has increased significantly over the past several 
decades, and were bolstered by the involvement of Mexican groups in the cocaine distribution 
business during the late 1980’sand 1990’s, When law enforcement attention and activity increased 
in the Caribbean and South Florida area during the 1980’s, cocaine traffickers began using Mexico 
as a conduit for U.S.-based cocaine shipments. Because traffickers from Mexico had established 
themselves as capable poly-drug smugglers over the years, Colombian trafficking organizations 
found a solid transportation infrastructure and ample expertise to assist them in getting their drugs 
to market. 

By the late 1980’s, an estimated 50-70% of the 
cocaine available in the United States entered 
through Mexico. Today, Mexico remains as the 
primary corridor for cocaine, and now 
methamphetairine. Beginning in the late eighties 
and evolving into the 1990’s, the role of 
traffickers from Mexico began to change 
dramatically as traffickers from Colombia began 
to pay Mexico-based transporters in cocaine — 
sometimes as much as half of the load — rather 
than cash as compensation for their transportation 
services. Organized crime figures from Mexico 
began using their long-established contacts to 
emerge as major cocaine traffickers in their own right, especially after the arrest of the Cali mafia 
leaders in 1995. Today, the U.S, cocaine market is divided, with traffickers from Mexico dominating 
cocaine markets in the West, and increasingly, in the Midwest. Groups from Colombia and the 
Dominican Republic still control cocaine trafficking along the East Coast of the United States, 
although there are recent indications that traffickers from Mexico are becoming deeply involved in 
cocaine trafficking to places like New York. In the last two years, Mexican cells within the United 
States have grown in size and influence and are expanding their power in cocaine markets long 
dominated by Colombians, such as New York and Chicago. 

In addition to gaining a prominent role in cocaine trafficking during the early 1990’s, traffickers 
from Mexico, who had dways been skilled in the production and trafficking of numerous drags, 
committed themselves to large-scale methamphetamine production and trafficking during this same 
period. Methamphetamine, which had appealed to a relatively small number of American users, re- 
emerged as a major drug of choice during the mid-1990’s. Traditionally controlled by outlaw 
motorcycle gangs, methamphetamine production and trafficking was now being entirely controlled 
by organized crime drug groups from Mexico, operating in that country and in California. 



8 




22 


Statistics demonstrated that methamphetamine use and availability had dramatically increased in a 
short period of time. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) indicated that emergency room 
episodes involving methamphetamine increased from 4900 in 1991 to 17,400 in 1997, an increase 
of 280%. The areas hardest hit by the meth epidemic were Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, 
Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. Concurrently, law enforcement seizures of 
methamphetamine and methamphetamine laboratories were also increasing. Seizures along the 
Southwest Border, the epicenter of the trafficking activities of organizations from Mexico, increased 
from 7 kilograms in 1992 to almost 1400 kilograms in 1998. During the same period of time, 
seizures of methamphetamine transported by Mexican nationals on U.S. highways increased from 1 
kilogram in 1993 to 383 in 1998. 

At the present time, methamphetamine trafficking and abuse are spreading across the United States 
at an alarming rate. With their primary methamphetamine production headquartered in remote areas 
of California, the surrogates of Mexican organized crime groups are also establishing a presence in 
cities in the Midwest, the deep South and the East Coast in order to further their business goals. 

Organized criminal groups from Mexico have not yet joined together and evolved into a monolithic 
entity like the Medellin group or the Cali mafia. Several powerful and violent organizations exist 
and operate today from headquarters in a number of Mexican cities. The Carillo Fuentes organization 
out of Juarez remains one of the most powerful of the Mexican organized crime families despite the 
death of its leader, Amado in 1997. The Tijuana Cartel, also known as the Arellano Felix organization, 
operates in Sinaloa, Jalisco, Michoacan, Chiapas and Baja California. This violent group orchestrates 
the shipment of multi-ton quandties of cocaine and marijuana to the United States, and is also 
responsible for heroin and methamphetamine production and trafficking. Assassins on the payroll 
of this organization operate on the streets of San Diego and are responsible for many violent activities 
in Mexico and the United States. 

The Amezcua brothers are major methamphetamine producers and traffickers, relying on their expert 
smuggling skills to obtain vast quantities of the precursor chemicals necessary for large-scale 
methamphetamine production. The other major narcotics organized crime family operating in Mexico 
today is the Caro Quintero organization out of Sonora, Mexico. They are responsible for marijuana 
production and smuggling, as well as heroin and cocaine trafficking. Most of the major organized 
crime narcotics traffickers in Mexico today have been indicted within the United States for their 
involvement in cases or seizures in the U.S. 

Like the mafia groups from the United States and Colombia that preceded them, organized crime 
syndicates from Mexico are extremely violent and routinely employ intimidation and the corraption 
of public officials to achieve their objectives. There have been numerous incidents which illustrate 
the ruthlessness of these organizations, including the recent gangland-style massacre of 22 people 
in Baja California Norte carried out by rival drug traffickers this past September. 


9 



23 


Heroin’s Rs-aniergsncs in the United ^tss 


Heroin did not disappear from America when the mafia’s Corsican supply of heroin was eliminated 
in 1972. Over time, other sources of supply emerged from Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and the 
Middle East and the American mafia continued to distribute heroin to users mostly concentrated in 
major cities. 


However, the current heroin problem that has emerged in the United States is controlled not by 
American organized crime, but by a new group of international organized crime figures from 
Colombia. In much the same way that their Medeilin and Cali predecessors ensured their dominance 
overthe cocaine trade in the 1980’s, heroin traffickers from Colombia are employing savvy marketing 
concepts to successfully rebuild American users’ interest in heroin. 



Beginning in the early 1990’s, independent 
traffickers from Colombia began to supply retail 
level outlets primarily in the Northeast United 
States with high quality, pure heroin. Colombian 
traffickers had spent several years cultivating 
opium and refining their heroin production 
capabilities, positioning themselves to take 
advantage of a gradually diminishing crack 
market By supplying dealers with high purity 
heroin to give away as free samples, and by 
establishing “brand names” to gamer customer 
loyalty, Colombian traffickers quickly gained a 
foothold in the burgeoning heroin market in cities 
such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia. 
They also began using Puerto Rico as a major 
transit area to distribute their product to places 
such as Florida and New Orleans. Colombian 
heroin was also more attractive than competitor’ 
supplies because of its low price — $75,000 per 
kilo in New York City — and its extremely high 
purity. 

Through a variety of programs DEA has had in 
place over the years, the dominance of Colombian 
heroin was confirmed. In 1997, 75% of the heroin 
seized and analyzed by federal law enforcement 
came from South America; in 1989, 88% of the 
heroin analyzed was of Southeast Asian origin. 


10 





24 


Tha Law tniorosirsant Response 

America’s long experience with organized crime over the decades necessitated the development 
and execution of an aggressive strategy to identify, target and incapacitate the leadership of these 
organizations. During the 1960’s, Attorney General Robert Kennedy intensified law enforcement 
efforts aimed at the mafia, and the successW result of this approach is evident in the current 
diminished state of the American mafia today. By establishing a program of nation-wide strike 
forces and sophisticated investigative strategies that ultimately broke the “code of silence” which 
protected mafias for so long, and by attacking the command and control of mafia organizations, 
U.S. law enforcement since the 1960’s has successfully addressed the organized crime problem 
which had threatened America for decades. 

DEA employs a similar, aggressive strategy against the leaders of international organized crime 
groups who are responsible for the distribution of narcotics into and within the United States . One 
key difference between this strategy and the one that guided law enforcement’ s efforts to dismantle 
the American mafia is a recognition that the leadership of today’s international drug syndicates 
reside and operate in foreign countries. The American mafialeaders carried out ail of dieir operations 
on U.S. soil and lived in American cities and communities, vastly enhancing the capabilities of 
U.S. law enforcement to ultimately apprehend them and bring them to justice. 

DBA’ s approach is threefold. First, attack the principal leadership of these international organized 
crime syndicates who operate outside of our geographical boundaries by building solid cases 
against them and indicting them, often repetitively, in U.S. jurisdictions. Second, attack the 
surrogates of these international drug lords vrho operate on U.S. soil, represent the highest levels 
of the command and control structure of these organizations and are responsible for carrying out 
the orders of their bosses. And third, attack the leaders of the domestic gangs who distribute drugs 
in local communities and are responsible for the vast majority of the violent crimes that are associated 
with their drug activities. 

Accomplishing these goals is possible when a variety of investigative tools are used and when 
U.S. law enforcement officials have a sound and productive working relationship with their foreign 
counterparts. Within the United States, DEA employs complex wiretap and other communication 
intercept investigations to identify these organizations at all levels, and to obtain actionable 
information which can lead to the dismantling of these organizations. Drug seizures are also 
exploited to their fullest potential by gathering information gleaned during controlled deliveries 
that further identify important cell members and their modes of operation. Additionally, complex 
long-term conspiracy investigations are conducted to gain critical information on the way these 
organizations operate and to build solid cases against the leaders of these syndicates who presume 
they are “untouchable.” Close coordination with other law enforcement entities within the United 
States and with foreign law enforcement counterparts also greatly enhances the potential and 
actual success of these investigations. 


tl 



25 


By employing the abovementioned strategy, it has been possible for DBA and numerous law 
enforcement partners around the world to achieve many notable successes. One recent example is 
the successful cooperative working relationship between DBA and the Colombian National Police 
(CNP) which led to the arrest and incarceration of the top leadership of the Cali mafia in 1995 and 
1996. As has always been the case with organized crime, the Cali mafia members attempted to 
repeatedly thwart law enforcement’s efforts to apprehend them through intimidation and corruption. 
Key workers within Cali cells in the United States were under real threats of violence and possibly 
murder if they cooperated with law enforcement in any way, a point that was illustrated by a 
Colombian job application that was seized by DEA during a raid in New York. The application 
specified the need for the applicant to Kst relatives living in Colombia in a clear attempt by the Cali 
mafia to gain human collateral to hold against their workers in the United States. 

While the difficulties faced by law enforcement to dismantle the mafias in the United States and 
Colombia seemed almost insurmountable at times, they pale in comparison to those faced in current 
efforts to bring the leaders of Mexican organized crime groups to justice. Today’s international 
organized crime groups based in Mexico are extremely powerful, involved in a variety of diverse 
drug trafficking activities, and have closer geographic proximity to the United States than did their 
Cab mafia counterparts. The infiltration of criminals from Mexico into numerous U.S. communities, 
including areas where organized crime does not usually operate, further complicates the problem. 

The criminal organizations in Mexico have become increasingly more powerful over the past five 
years. The Government of Mexico, after having determined that trafficking organizations had 
compromised virtually all of that nation’s civilian law enforcement organizations, directed that the 
Mexican military would assume responsibility for targeting drug trafficking organizations until 
critical improvements in the law enforcement organizations could be made. Government of Mexico 
officials have stated that it will take years for Mexican institutions to gain the professionalism and 
integrity necessary to mount an all-out assault on organized crime and drug trafficking organizations 
operating in that nation. The obstacles facing law enforcement are enormous in Mexico: traffickers 
are used to operating in an environment where drug traffickers routinely intimidate, bribe and corrupt 
officials, making it very difficult for law enforcement in the United States to confidently share 
information without the potential for compromise. 

There have been intensified attempts to improve the present situation facing U.S. and Mexican law 
enforcement, including the formation of specially trained and well equipped teams that have been 
screened to ensure the highest degree of integrity. However, to date, these initiatives have resulted 
in hmited success and progress has been disappointingly slow. 

Despite these obstacles, DEA believes that the application of aggressive law enforcement principles 
and techniques is the most successful way to dismantle international organized crime syndicates. 
Within the last several years, it has become very clear that the recent reductions in the violent crime 
rate within the United States — now at levels not seen since the 1960’s — are due to aggressive law 
enforcement at aU levels. 


12 



26 


The New Y ork City example is perhaps the most 
compelling illustration of this point. In the early 
1990’s, after three decades of rapidly increasing 
levels of violent crime which were exacerbated 
by the crack epidemic, the City of New York 
embarked upon an ambitious program to enhance 
its law enforcement capabilities. In this instance, 
public opinion played a large role in galvanizing 
support for tougher law enforcement after a 22 
year old tourist from Utah was killed in a 
Manhattan subway while trying to protect his 
parents from thieves. The political leaders of the 
city and the state came together to determine how 
best to turn the terrible tide of violent crime around. City leaders increased the police department by 
30%, adding 8000 officers. Arrests for all crimes, including drug dealing, drug gang activity and quality 
of life violations which had been tolerated for many years, increased by 50%. The capacity of New 
York prisons was also increased. The results of these actions were dramatic: the total number of 
homicides in 1998 — 629 — was less than the number of murders recorded in 1964. Over an eight year 
period the number of homicides was reduced from 2262 to 629 — a reduction of almost 70%. 

DEA has also been aggressive in developing and implementing programs to reduce violent narcotics- 
related crime. One enforcement program, the Mobile Enforcement Teams, lends support to local and 
state law enforcement agencies that are experiencing problems arising from violent (hug related crime 

in their communities. The results of this program 
over the past four years indicate that aggressive 
enforcement of drug laws does have a lasting impact 
on reducing crime and improving the quality of life 
for residents of communities across the nation. 
Statistics indicate that on average, communities 
participating in the MET program have seen a 12% 
reduction in homicides. 

Aggressive law enforcement that targets the 
command and control of organized crime groups and 
neutralizes mafias’ abilities to intimidate and corrupt, 
has worked in the United States and in Colombia, 
as was mentioned previously. There are other 
countries where this is also true. In Italy, experts 
proved that aggressive law enforcement was the most effective tool in Italy’s efforts to eliminate the 
mafia. The Government of Thailand also demonstrated the value of sustained law enforcement efforts 
when the top leadership of the Shan United Army, Khun Sa’s powerful and until then “untouchable” 
heroin trafficking organization, was arrested in 1994. Several members of this leadership were extradited 
to the United States where they faced justice for their crimes. 




13 





27 


'iy'OnciiJsion 

The problem of organized criminal syndic^es’ involvement in narcotics trafficking is now facing 
many governments and societies. The international criminal organizations operating on a global 
basis today represent the gravest criminal threat that our nations have ever faced at any time 
during our history. But history has also taught us that consistent, aggressive law enforcement 
can and does work when coordinated resources and will are focused on eliminating the command 
and control structure of these organizations, and eliminating die environments of intimidation, 
corruption and violence which allow these organizations to flourish. 

In the coming decades, it will be critical for all of our nations to make a strong commitment to 
use all of the tools available to us to fight international criminal organizations as they become 
more deeply involved in the global narcotics trade. It is important for us as we craft our response, 
to ensure that we match the traffickers’ flexibility and resources to enhance our potential for 
success. During the coming years, it wUI be necessary for governments to marshal the resources 
and expertise of diplomats, political leaders and opinion makers in our mutual efforts to rid our 
nations of the evil influences of organized criminal narcotics traflucking syndicates. 


14 



28 


Mr. Mica. I am pleased now to recognize for an opening state- 
ment the gentleman from Maryland. I was going to say the gen- 
tleman from Baltimore, but after the comments from the gen- 
tleman from New York, I thought I should cool it. Thank you. 

Mr. Cummings. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I certainly 
am from Baltimore, and I am very proud to be so. 

As I listened to the gentleman from New York, I could not help 
but think about the fact that there are so many people who need 
medical treatment. They need treatment. For a lot of people, it is 
very easy to sit back and look at folks. Well, I live in the middle 
of it. I live in a drug-infested neighborhood. I know people who 
have been trying to get treatment for years— for years— and can't 
get it. 

As a matter of fact. General McCaffrey came to Baltimore about 
2 years ago and went through one of those neighborhoods in east 
Baltimore and had an opportunity to see young men and women 
who were struggling, taking their own resources, coming up with 
innovative ways to get the funds to treat themselves. So I think we 
have to be very, very careful when someone sits at a distance and 
then tries to put a microscope on any community and still complain 
but don't provide the funds to address the problem. 

The problem is very serious. It is one, as I said before, I count 
as a top priority on my list since I live with it. I have known the 
little girls who I have watched grow up from babies and now sell- 
ing their bodies for $5 at 14 years old. I see them every day. I know 
the pain of coming home and seeing my home ransacked, my car 
broken into because people are in so much pain they don't even 
know they are in pain. 

I am glad that we are having this hearing today. I am personally 
against decriminalization of drugs, but I am for making sure that 
people are treated. I am glad that General McCaffrey has made the 
efforts he has made with regard to inmates, people going to jail and 
coming out worse off than when they went in. At least we are be- 
ginning to try to deal with that problem so when they come out 
they are better off. 

The fact is, sometimes this whole problem reminds me of my lit- 
tle girl when she was a little younger— she is 5 now, but when she 
was a little younger, she was about 2 years old, I guess, she would 
come up to me and say, "daddy, let's play hide and go seek," and 
she would put her hand up to her face and say, "daddy, you can't 
find me." But she was standing right in front of me. 

What I am trying to say is that so often the solutions to the prob- 
lems are right in front of us, but we don't address them for various 
reasons. And sometimes I think— I think it was Martin Luther 
King, Sr., who said, you cannot lead where you do not go, you can- 
not teach what you do not know. I would ask some folks to do what 
General McCaffrey has done, to walk in my neighborhood, to see 
what happens when children are left out and left behind, to see 
that babies do grow up and are placed in difficult circumstances. 

And so, no, decriminalization is not the solution. Legalization is 
not the solution. The solution is that we must have a more humane 
society so that people don't grow up feeling that they have to do 
these things. And, second, if they do these things, to make sure 



29 


that they get appropriate treatment so that they can come back to 
a life that is proauctive and a life that is meaningful. 

I look forward to the testimony, Mr. Chairman, and I want to 
thank you for holding this hearing. I am just so anxious to hear 
what is going to be said, I just don't know what to do. 

With that, I want to thank all of our witnesses for being here 
and thank you for taking your time. 

I would remind our witnesses— I am almost finished, Mr. Chair- 
man— I would remind our witnesses that your testimony is so im- 
portant to us. This is the Congress of the United States of America, 
the greatest country in the world, the most powerful country in the 
world; and we so happen— we folks up here have been charged with 
leading this country. Your testimony helps us to address the poli- 
cies that make this country the great country that it is. We simply 
take time out to say thank you. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentleman. 

I now recognize the gentleman from Arkansas for an opening 
statement, Mr. Hutchinson. 

Mr. Hutchinson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I want to welcome General McCaffrey. I look forward to your tes- 
timony. 

General, I want to express that I have enormous respect for you 
and the work that you have done, the commitment that you have 
made to this endeavor and to your work. I can't think of any public 
official that puts his heart more into the job that you are trying 
to perform than you do, and our country should be grateful to you. 

We do have some, I think, differences in emphasis. I have read 
your testimony. I think that when you talk about a fallacy, it being 
a fallacy that we are fighting a war on drugs, and that the reality 
is that it is analogous to the fight against cancer, you have some 
legitimate points, I guess, that you don't want to declare war on 
your citizens and whenever someone goes out to make a drug ar- 
rest, you don't want to treat it like a war. Those points are well- 
taken; and, obviously, there is some merit to that. 

But, to me, as a parent of teenagers, and I have had family mem- 
bers that have struggled with drugs, it is a war in a family, I guar- 
antee you, and it is a war in our society. You document that 
through your testimony, which is a very strong statement as to 
why we should not legalize marijuana in our country. So I guess 
you can use whatever term— it just doesn't make any sense to me 
to make a big issue out of the contention that the terminology of 
"war against drugs" is wrong. This is not something I want to live 
with in America's families. 

Second, and I hope you will address some of these issues, be- 
cause I am not aware of all that you are doing, but this legalization 
of marijuana across the country is of enormous concern, the initia- 
tives in the various States. Please explain specifically what the ad- 
ministration is doing in each of these States to combat these ef- 
forts. It would appear to me that the media campaign budget is ex- 
traordinarily— generous is not the right word— out hefty and 
should be targeted toward these States and not just necessarily an 
antidrug message but a specific message that relates to the prob- 
lems in legalization that you have articulated so well in the testi- 
mony that I have reviewed. 



30 


And also I just think it takes your presence and the presence of 
the Attorney General of the United States in each of these States 
holding news conferences, outlining the problems that you have re- 
cited and urging people not to be swept away with this legalization 
effort. And so please comment on what you are doing, what the ad- 
ministration is doing, and what the Attorney General is doing in 
that regard. 

Then, finally, in looking at the goals of your 1999 strategy, cer- 
tainly you can't disagree with those goals, I mean, they are very 
important. The education is critically important, obviously the k^ 
component of any campaign, reducing crime, social cost, the inter- 
diction efforts. It just, at least in overall goals, it seems like there 
is not a strong enough law enforcement component. Are these goals 
different from previous years in regard to the law enforcement 
component and the emphasis upon law enforcement? If you could 
comment on that and advise me if there is any change or retreat 
from the hard push in the law enforcement arena. 

With that, I will yield back; and I look forward to your testi- 
mony, General McCaffrey. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentleman. 

We have no further opening statements at this time. 

As you know. General, this is an investigation and oversight sub- 
committee of Congress. We swear in all of our witnesses. So if you 
would stand, sir and raise your right hand. 

[Witness sworn.] 

Mr. Mica. Welcome, General. We won't put the time clock on you 
today. You are the only one on the panel. Welcome back. We look 
forward to your testimony. Without further ado, sir, you are recog- 
nized. 

STATEMENT OF GENERAL BARRY R. MCCAFFREY, DIRECTOR, 
OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY 

General McCaffrey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, to you and Con- 
gresswoman Mink and all the members of your committee. 

The enormous amount of energy that all of you collectively and 
individually have poured into this. I have watched your travels 
around the country, the two of you on your trip to the Andean 
ridge, and I thank you for your engagement on the issue and in- 
de^ for your guidance and support over the last several years. 

Let me say that some of the witnesses who are here to support 
your hearing, particularly Dr. Alan Leshner, without meaning to 
embarrass him, I consider a national treasure. You gave him a half 
billion dollars last year in research money. You have increased his 
budget by 36 percent in 4 years. He knows what he is talking 
about. That research has been the basis of an informed policy on 
drug abuse in America that has guided our efforts over the last 
several years. 

You also have Donnie Marshall here, representing Tom Con- 
stantine and the 9,000 men and women of the DEA. Thank God for 
their integrity and for the skill with which they have confronted 
this international and implacable drug criminal threat that we 
face. I look forward to hearing what Donnie says. He has a ton of 
common sense, and the DEA and counter narcotics officers who are 
present understand drug abuse at face value. 



31 


Bob Maginnis, from the Family Research Council, has been a 
very important NGO and a voice of common sense; and we thank 
him for his writing and thinking and influence. 

And J im McDonough, my former head strategic planner, now 
working for Governor J dD Bush, we look forward to his comments. 

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for allowing me to have the oppor- 
tunity to bring together these witnesses and listen to the people 
that have really formed and guided our own efforts. 

Sue Thaugh is here from the Community Antidrug Coalition of 
America. There are more than 4,000 coalitions around the country. 
Thanks to the Portman-Levin bill, we are now growing the number 
of community coalitions— J ohnny Hughes from the National Troop- 
ers Coalition, Bill McGiveney from DARE. There are 26 million 
American children involved in the biggest drug prevention program 
in the world. There are now 9 million plus kids in the international 
arena. It is spreading throughout Latin America. A lot of the teach- 
ing of the DARE coordinators is going on in Costa Rica. 

With your permission, Mr. Chairman, he has brought some of his 
kids here, and they may sort of provide an underpoint, if I could 
ask them to stand up. How about these DARE Kids? Go ahead. 
Stand on up. 

Dr. Linda Wolf J ones. Therapeutic Communities of America, is 
here to again key off Congressman Cummings' point. We are not 
going to solve this problem until we understand that there are 4.1 
million Americans who are chronically addicted to illegal drugs. We 
will go on to talk about this, if you wish, but at the end of the day, 
we believe we have probably half the infrastructure we require to 
bring effective drug treatment to bear on that problem. We thank 
Dr. Wolf J ones for her leadership. 

Wes Huddleston is here. Director of the National Drug Court In- 
stitute. What a concept. Four years ago, there were a dozen drug 
courts. Today, there are more than 600 either online or coming on- 
line this year. The first national convention was 5 years ago. There 
were less than 300 people there. This year it was in Miami. There 
were more than 3,000 people there from all over America. 

J essica Hulsey is here, the youth member of our Drug Free Com- 
munities Advisory Board. 

We are very grateful the YMCA has Eden Fisher Derbman here, 
they have tremendous program engagement with young people. 

I thank Christie McCampbell, the president of the California 
Narcotics Officers Association for being here. The National Narcot- 
ics Officers Association has been an extremely influential body in 
helping form our own thinking. 

Let me also, mention Rob Connelly, Boys and Girls Clubs of 
America, for their tremendous work. They are supported by Con- 
gress and by many municipal governments in pulling on-line lit- 
erally 1,000 plus boys and girls clubs. This is one of the most effec- 
tive concepts I personally know of in the field of drug prevention. 

Let me, if I may, Mr. Chairman, draw attention to the statement 
which Congressman Hutchinson was generous enough to refer to. 
We put an enormous amount of work into this thing. 

I thank you for this hearing which really formed the basis of us 
going to the administration, going to our stakeholders and saying, 
"Let's form a written response to not just the drug legalization 



32 


community but those who have disguised themselves under other 
terms to advance that argument." I would hope that this state- 
ment, which is cleared by the administration, will stand as a posi- 
tion paper to guide our future discussions. 

Mr. Mica. Excuse me. I think we would ask unanimous consent 
that statement be inserted as part of the record at this time. 

General McCaffrey. Yes, that would be a useful addition to the 
record. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, so ordered. Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of General McCaffrey follows:] 



33 


EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDEM 
OFUfE OF WriONAL BRl CONTROI, P()L1C\ 

Washington, D.C 20503 

TESTIMONY OF BARRY R. McCAFFREY 
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY 
BEFORE THE HOUSE GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE 
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 

DRUG POLICY , AND HUMAN RESOURCES 
THE DRUG LEGALIZATION MOVEMENT IN AMERICA 
June 16, 1999 


Chairman Mica, Congresswoman Mink, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today 
on the drug legalization movement in the United States. Before discussing this issue, on behalf 
of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) allow me to thank the leadership and 
members of this Subcommittee for the strong bipartisan support you have provided to our 
National Drug Control Strategy. With your help we are making substantial progress in reducing 
the tlireat of illegal drugs to our nation. 


INTRODUCTION 

Given the negative impact of dnigs on American society, the overwhelming majority of 
Americans reject illegal drug use. Indeed millions of Americans who once tried drugs now turn 
their backs on them - they no longer “do drugs,” and most importantly, don’t want their children 
doing them. While most Americans steadfastly reject drugs, small elements of the social 
spectrum argue that prohibition - and not drugs - creates the problems we face. These people 
offer solutions in various guises, ranging from outright legalization to so-called “harm 
reduction.” In fact, all drug policies seek to reduce the harms of drug use. No rational approach 
would seek to increase harms to families, children and our nation. The real question is: what 
policies actually do the most to decrease the harms drags cause? 

Part I of this testimony provides an overview of what proponents of legalization really want to 
achieve through their efforts, namely: legalization of not only marijuana, but other more 
dangerotis drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Part II of this testimony cuts through the haze of 
this misinformation to expose the fallacies and realities of what legalization would mean to 
this nation, namely; significantly higher rates of drug abuse, particularly among young people, 
and exponentially increased human and social costs to our society. Part HI of this testimony 
sets out the balanced approach to fighting drugs provided in our National Drug Control 
Strategy. This part summarizes how we intend to reach our goal of cutting drug use and its 
consequences in America by half over the next ten years. 



34 


I. WHAT PROPONENTS OF LEGALIZATION REALLY W ANT: 

EASY ACCESS TO ALL DRUGS OF ABUSE 

Our nation's democratic system of government is founded upon free and open debate. Our 
nation holds no beliefs or icons above challenge and examination. We all must be willing to lay 
the facts and our analysis on the table of public scrutiny, and make the case for what we believe. 

However, in the marketplace of ideas, just as in other marketplaces, there are people willing to 
use deceptive claims, half truths and flawed logic to hawk ill-considered beliefs. Nowhere is this 
problem more clear than with respect to the drug legalization movement. 

Proponents of legalization know that the policy choices they advocate are unacceptable to the 
.^erican public. Because of this, many advocates of this approach have resorted to concealing 
their real intentions and seeking to sell the American public legalization by normalizing drugs 
through a process designed to erode societal dis^proval. 

For example, ONDCP has expressed reservations about the legalization of hemp as an 
agricultural product because of the potential for increasing marijuana growth and use. While 
legitimate hardworking farmers may want to grow the crop to support their families, many of the 
other proponents of hemp legalization have not been as honest about their goals. A leading 
hemp activist, is quoted in the San Francisco Examiner and on the Media Awareness Project’s 
homepage (a group advocating drug policy reforms) as saying he “can’t support a movement or 
law that would lift restrictions from industrial hemp and keep them for marijuana.”' If legalizing 
hemp is solely about developing a new crop and not about eroding marijuana restrictions, why 
does this individual only support hemp deregulation if it is linked to the legalization of 
marijuana? 

Similarly, when Ethan Nadeimann Director of the Lindesmith Center (a drug research institute), 
speaks to the mainstream media, he talks mainly about issues of compassion, like medical 
marijuana and the need to help patients dying of cancer. However, Mr. Nadelmann’s’s own 
words in other fora reveal his underlying agenda; legalizing drugs. Here is what he advocates: 

Personally, when / talk about legalization. I mean three things: the first is to make 
drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin legal . . . .^ 


'K^herine Seligman, Legalizaticn Sought for Cousin of Pot, San Francisco Examiner, 
May 9, 1999, Cl (quoting hemp activist Jack Merer). 

^Ethan Nadeimann, Should Some Drugs Be Legalized?, 6 Issues in Science and 
Technology 43-46 (1990). 


2 



35 


I propose a mail order distribution system based on a right of access - . . r 

Any good non-prohibitionist drug policy has to contain three central ingredients. 

First, possession of small amounts of any drug for personal use has to be legal. 

Second, there have to be legal means by which adults can obtain drugs of certified 
quality, purity and quantity. These can vary from state to state and town to town, 
with the Food and Drug Administration playing a supervisory^ role in controlling 
quality, providing information and assuring truth in advertising. And third, 
citizens have to be empowered in their decisions about drugs. Doctors have a 
role in all this, but let’s not give them all the power.* 

We can begin by testing low potency cocaine products — coca-based chewing gum 
or lozenges, for example, or products like Mariam ’s wine and the Coca-Cola of 
the late 19th century - which by all accounts were as safe as beer and probably 
not much worse than coffee. If some people want to distill those products into 
something more potent, let ihenf 

But if there is a lot ofPCP use in Washington, then the government comes in and 
regulates the salef 

Mr. Nadelmann’s view that drugs, including heroin and other highly addictive and dangerous 
drugs, should be legalized are widely shared by this core group of like-minded individuals. For 
example, Mr. Arnold Trebach states: 

Under the legalization plan 1 propose here, addicts ■ . . would be able to purchase 
the heroin and needles they need at reasonable prices from a non-medical 
drugstore.^ 


^Ethan Nadelmann, Thinking Seriously About Alternatives to Drug Prohibition, 1 2 1 
Daedalus 87-132(1992). 

■^Ethan Nadelmann and Jan Wenner, Toward a Sane National Drug Policy, Rolling Stone 
May 5, 1994, 24-26. 

^Id. 

^Ethan Nadelmann, Bow to Legalize, interview with Emily Yoffe, Mother Jones, Feb./Mar. 
1990, 18-19. 

"^Arnold Trebach & James Inciardi, Legalize It? Debating American Drug Policy, 109-110 

(1993). 


3 



36 


international financier George Soros, who funds the Lindesmith Center, has advocated: “If it 
were up to me, I would establish a strictly controlled distributor network through which I would 
make most drugs, excluding the most dangerous ones like crack, legally available."* William F. 
Buckley, Jr. has also called for the “legalization of the sale of most drugs, except to minors."^ 

Similarly, when the legalization community explains their theory of harm reduction - the belief 
that illegal drug use cannot be controlled and, instead, that government should focus on reducing 
drug-related harms, such as overdoses — the underlying goal of legalization is still present. For 
example, in a 1998 article in Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nadelmann expressed that the following were 
legitimate “harm reduction" policies; allowing doctors to prescribe heroin for addicts; employing 
drug analysis units at large dance parties, known as mves, to test the quality of drugs; and 
“decriminalizing" possession and retail sale of cannabis and, in some cases, possession of “hard 
drugs."'° 

Legalization, whether it goes by the name harm reduction or some other trumped up moniker, is 
still legalization. For those who at heart believe in legalization, harm reduction” is too often a 
linguistic ploy to confuse the public, cover their intentions and thereby quell legitimate public 
inquiry and debate. Changing the name of the plan doesn’t constitute a new solution or alter the 
nature of the problem. 

In many instances, these groups not only advocate public policies that promote drug use, they 
also provide people with information designed to encourage, aid and abet drug u.se. For example, 
from the Media Awareness Project {a not-for-profit organization whose self-declared mission is 
to encourage a re-evaluation of our drug policies) website a child can “link" to a site that states: 

Overthrow the Government! 

Grow your own stone! It 's easy! It s fun! Everybody 's doing it! 

Growing marijuana: a fun hobby the whole family can enjoy !^^ 


"George Soros, Soros on Soros, p. 200 (1995). 

’William F, Buckley, The War on Drugs is Lost. National Review. Feb. 12, 1996, 35-48. 

'"^See Ethan Nadelmann, Commonsense Drug Policy. 11 Foreign Affairs 111-126 (1998). 

”It should, however, be emphasized that not all advocates of harm reduction support drug 
legalization. Nor, docs harm reduction, by itself, require legalization. In fact, aspects of the 
National Drug Control Strategy, such as m^hadone treatment, properly adopt hann reduction 
programs as part of a comprehensive, balanced approach to reducing drug use. Nevertheless, the 
fact remains that many who advocate harm reduction use it as a subterfuge for legalization. 

^^See “www.cannabisculture.com/grow". 


4 



37 


The linked website goes on to provide the reader with all the information needed to grow 
marijuana, including a company located in Vancouver, Canada that will ship seeds or plants- 

The Media Awareness Project website also includes links to instructions about how drug users 
can defeat drug tests/-' Similarly, the websites of both the Drug Policy Foundation, a self- 
proclaimed drug policy reform group, and the Media Awareness Project, both provide links to a 
site that gives instructions for how to manufacture the drug “ecstasy,'’’'* 

Careful examination of the words - speeches, webpostings, and writings - and actions of many 
who advocate policies to “reduce the harm” associated with illegal drugs reveals a more radical 
intent. In reality, their drug policy reform proposals are far too often a thin veneer for drug 
legalization. 

What do drug “legalizers” truly seek? They want drugs made legal - even though this would 
dramatically increase drug use rates. They want drugs made widely available, in chewing gums 
and sodas, over the Internet and at the comer store *- even though this would be tantamount to 
putting drugs in the hands of children. They w ant our society to no longer frown on drug use — 
even though each year drug use contributes to 50,000 deaths'* and costs our society S 1 1 0 billion 


“www.mapinc.org” (“drug links” 7 and 8 link to the following two websites: 
“www.highlimes.com/htftow/tes/index.htmr’ and 
“www.cannabisculture.coin/usage/dtfaq.shtmr’). 

“www.mapinc.org”, which includes as part of its site ‘hvww.mapsorg/news.htmi”. 
which then links to “www.ecstacy.org/links/index.html”, which then includes 
“www.hypeireal.org/'-lamont/pharm/faq/faq-mdma-synth.htmi”. This same information is also 
found on “www.lyceum.org/dnigs/synth . . ./mdma/'synthesis/:ndma.mda.synthesis”. 

Richard Cowan, fiMiWing a -VO/y-fZ,. High Times, Jan. 1993, p. 67. Mr. 
Cowan has made clear how harm reduction policies fit into the legalization agenda as follows: 

Based on our objective of “Legalization by 97" we must begin by demanding: I -- 
immediate access to marijuana for the sick. 2 - The immediate cessation of all 
attacks on users, growers and sellers of marijuana. 3 - An immediate end to lying 
about marijuana and its users. 4 — Recognition of the economic and 
environmental importance of hemp, and studies on how it can be best exploited by 
American agriculture and industry. 


Id. 


^*CSR Inc., unpublished research prepared for ONDCP, 1 999. 


5 



38 


in social costs.'-' .And, they want the government to play the role of facilitator, handing out drugs 
like heroin and LSD. 

Let me emphasize, there is nothing wrong with advocating for change in public policy. From 
civil nghts to universal suffrage, much of what makes our nation great has been the result of 
courageous reform efforts. Our nation benefits from the airing of dissent. However, we ail have 
a responsibility to be honest in debate about our motives. We all have an obligation to be open 
with the American people about the risks inherent in what we advocate. To date, advocates of 
legalization have not been so forthcoming. 


‘^NIDA and NIAAA, The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United 
States, 1992, NTDA/NIH pub. no. 98-4327, Sept. 1998. 


6 



39 


II, THE FALLACIES AND REALITIES OF DRUG LEGALIZATION 


F ALLACY: There is a large movement to legalize drugs in America. 

RE.4LITY: THERE IS NO Sl'CH THING AS A DRUG LEGALIZATION 
“MOVEMENT” IN AMERICA. 

One recent account placed the number of groups advocating drug policy reform at roughly four- 
hundred nation-wide, including local chapters of national organizations.'* By contrast, there are 
roughly 1,300 local chapters of the American Red Cross; 3,400 units of the Amencan Cancer 
Society; 9,000 Veterans of Foreign Wars posts; 2,351 local V'MCA chapters; 121,948 local Boy 
Scouts Units; and, 4,300 Community Anti-Drug Coalitions. The “Prevention Through Service 
.Alliance” alone, established by ONDCP, brings together forty-seven national civic, service, 
fraternal, veterans, and women’s organizations, representing one hundred million people and 
nearly one million local chapters, in a coordinated effort to reduce youth drug use. These 
organizations are at the forefront of real movements - to safeguard lives and health, to honor 
those who served our nation, to end the plague of cancer, to mentor young people, and to protect 
our youth from drugs. By this standard there is no movement in America to legalize drugs. 

There is, however, a careflilly-camouflaged, well-funded, tightly-knit core of people whose goal 
is to legalize dmg use in the United States, it is critical to understand that whatever they say to 
gain respectability in social circles, or to gain credibility in the media and academia, their 
common goal is to legalize drugs. 


FALLACY: Americans increasingly support drug legalization. 

REALITY: RIGHTFULLY, THE AMERICAN PUBLIC OPPOSES DRUG 
LEGALIZATION. 

The American people understand the risks that drag legalization would entail and 
overwhelmingly reject this ill-considered approach. Youth access to and use of alcohol and 
cigarettes is bad enough - American parents clearly don’t want children able to use a fake ID at 
the comer store to buy heroin. We have enough problems with drinking and driving -- families 
don’t want to live in fear that the driver of the eighteen wheeler motoring alongside their minivan 
is high on marijuana, methamphetamines or LSD. Thousands of our loved ones already die from 


Ken Kraysee, Pot Politics, Hartford Advocate, May 20, 1999. The Drug Reform 
Coordination Network’s website claims just 6,000 activists in its network. Similarly, the Drug 
Policy Foundation’s website claims “23,000 supporters.” And, we believe that there is 
substantial overlap between groups such as these, as well as other “reform” groups. 


7 



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drug-related causes — reasonable people don’t want drugs to be accessible over the Internet. 

Study after study confirms the concerns of Americans about drugs, and their desire to guard 
against the risks of these deadly substances. A 1 998 poll of voters conducted by the Family 
Research Council found that eight of ten respondents rejected the legalization of drugs like 
cocaine and heroin, with seven out of ten in strong opposition. Moreover, when asked if they 
supported making these drugs legal in the same way that alcohol Is, 82 percent said they opposed 
legalization. Similarly, a 1999 Gallup poll found that 69 percent of Americans oppose the 
legalization of marijuana.'^ A recent study by the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs found that 
the American public consider drug abuse the third biggest problem facing our country today, 

Not only do Americans reject legalization, they also support policies to nd their communities, 
schools, and workplaces of drugs. For example, a 1995 Gallup poll found that 72 percent of 
xAmericans want drug testing in the workplace.-' Sixty-seven percent supported random drug 
testing by employers. This same survey found that 73 percent of all American employees 
support their employers drug-free woricplace policies and programs. Another 23 percent of 
American employees w'ant their employers to go even further and adopt tougher programs. 
Similarly, a soon-to-be released Gallup poll finds that 85 percent of Americans support greater 
funding for drug interdiction.^^ 

One of the best measures of the public's rejection of drugs is the number of Americans — fifty- 
million ” who have used drugs dining their younger years, but now reject them. Even among 
individuals who themselves tried drugs, 73 percent believe that parents should forbid children 
from ever using any drug at any time.^^ 

The American public’s opinion about illegal drugs is clear: they want no part of them. 

Americans don’t want their children, friends or family members doing drugs. They don’t want 
drugs in their workplace. They don’t want to live in fear that their pilot or bus driver is on drugs. 


‘’Gallup Organization, Americans Oppose General Legalization of Marijuana (1999), 

^^See John E. Reilly, Americans and the World: A Survey at the Century ’s End, 1 14 
Foreign Policy 97, U 0 ( 1 999). 

^'Gallup Organization, What American Employees Think About Drugs (1995) (prepared 
for the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace). 

^^Gallup, soon to be released poll, prepared for ONDCP (1999). 

^'‘Partnership for a Drug Free America, Parents and Marijuana in the 90s, Partnership 
Attitude Tracking Study (1997). 

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And, they support efforts, ranging from education to treatment to law enforcement, to combat 
drug use. 

FALLACY: Drug legalization will not Increase drug use. 

REALITY : DRUG LEGALIZATION WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE 
HUMAN .AND ECONOMIC COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUGS. 

Proponents argue that legalization is a cure-all for our nation’s drug problem. However, the facts 
show that legalization is not a panacea but a poison. In reality, legalization would dramatically 
expand America’s drug dependence, significantly increase the social costs of drug abuse, ar.d put 
countless more innocent lives at risk. 

A. “The Dutch Model” 

Those who support legalization often hold up the Netherlands as an example that legalization can 
work. While the Dutch have adopted a “softer” approach to some drugs, they have not legalized 
them. Under the Dutch system possession and small sales of marijuana have been 
decriminalized. However, marijuana production and larger scale sales remain criminal. Drugs 
such as cocaine and heroin remain illegal. Most importantly, while the Dutch have not legalized 
drugs, the softening of Dutch criminal laws against marijuana has led to a normalization of drug 
use more broadly. The accompanying change in public attitudes has, arguably, played as critical 
a role in Dutch drug use patterns as has the shift in the actual law. 

If the Dutch experience with drugs is an appropriate mode! at all, it is because it illustrates the 
hjmns that result from increased tolerance of illegal drugs. This conclusion was brought home to 
ail of us from the Office of National Drug Control Policy who traveled to the Netherlands in July 
of 1 998 to gain a better understanding of the Dutch approach.'^ 

When the so-called Dutch ‘‘coffee shops,” started selling marijuana in small quantities, use of the 
drug more than doubled between 1984 and 1996 among 18 to 25 year olds.^^ According to an 
article, Holland 's Half-Baked Drug Experiment, which appears in the current {May/June 1 999) 
e6x\.\onoi Foreign Affairs: ‘Tn 1997, there was a 25 percent increase in the number of registered 
cannabis addicts receiving treatment, as compared to a mere 3 percent rise in cases of alcohol 


^^See Director Barry R. McCaffrey, Memorandum for the President’s Drug Policy 
Council, ONDCP Trip to Europe (JJ-18 July 1998), September 2, 1998. 

^^Larry Collins, Holland 's Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 88 
(May/June 1999); see also Robert Dupont, Eric Volh, Drug Legalization. Harm Reduction, and 
Drug Policy, 123 Annals of Internal Medicine 461-465 (1995) (citing a 30 percent increase in the 
number ofDutch marijuana addicts from 1991 to 1993 alone). 


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abuse-”‘ 

Moreover, Dutch tolerance of drug use has created a climate that drug manufacturers and 
traffickers have seized upon to produce and market more addictive and dangerous drugs, For 
example, Peter Reijnders, Assistant Chief Constable and Chief of the Dutch National Unit on 
Synthetic Drugs, recently told the 25th European Meeting of Heads of National Drug Sendees, 
that; - . .[T]he Netherlands is a major country as far as it concerns involvement in the 
production of illicit synthetic drugs. 

Dutch drug manufacturers are also producing a new form of marijuana, Nederwiet, with THC 
contents as high as 35 percent -- as much as ten times the THC of the cannabis available just a 
few years ago. Cannabis seeds can even be ordered over the Internet from an Amsterdam-based 
dealer,-'’ The well-respected journal Foreign Affairs describes the situation as follows: 

- . . [T]he annual Nederwiet harvest is a staggering 100 tons a year, almost all 
grown illegally. And it does not stay in the Netherlands. Perhaps as much as 65 
tons of pot is exported ~ equally illegally — to Holland’s neighbors. Holland now 
rivals Morocco as the principal source of European marijuana. By the Dutch 
Ministry of Justice’s own estimates, the Nederwdet industry now employs 20,000 
people. The overall commercial value of the industry', including not only the 
growth and sale of the plant itself but the export of high-potency Nederwiet seeds 
to the rest of Europe and the United Slates, is 20 billion Dutch guilders, or about 
$ 10 billion - virtually all of it illegal and almost none of it subject to any form of 
Dutch taxation. The illegal export of cannabis today brings in far more money 
than that other traditional Dutch crop, tulips.^*’ 

The impact of high potency marijuana on Dutch youth has been severe. In Foreign Affairs, Dr. 
Ernest Burming of the Ministry of Health, is quoted as saying: 

There are young people who abuse soft drugs . . . particularly those that have high 


^^Larry Collins, Holland's Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, S8 
(May/June 1999). 

^^See Lecture by Peter Reijnders, lie.. Assistant Chief Constable, Chief of the National 
Unit Synthetic Drugs of the Netherlands, delivered at the 25lh European Meeting of Heads of 
National Drug Services, Edinburgh, UK, May 4-6, 1999. 

^^See “www.aloha.nr’. 

^‘’Larry Collins, Holland ‘s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 89 
(May/June 1999); see also Director Barry R. McCaffrey, Memorandum for the President’s Drug 
Policy Council, ONDCF Trip to Europe (11-18 July 1998), September 2, 1998. 


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43 


THC. The place that cannabis takes in their lives becomes so dominant they don't 
have space for other important things in life. They crawl out of bed in the 
morning, grab ajoint, don’twoik, smoke another joint. They don’t know what to 
do with their lives. I don’t want to cal! it a drug problem because if I do, then we 
have to get into a discussion that cannabis is dangerous, that sometimes you can’t 
use it without doing damage to your health or your psyche, The moment we say. 

“There are people who have problems with soft drugs,” our critics will jump on 
us, so it makes it a little bit difficult for us to be objective on this matter.^' 

During this period of tolerance, the Netherlands has also experienced a serious problem with 
other substances of abuse, in particular heroin and synthetic drugs, which remain illegal. 
According to a 1998 report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug .Addiction, 
the number of heroin addicts in Holland has almost tripled since the liberalization of drug 
policies.^’ Similarly, the 1998 European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction’s 
overview report states that drug-related arrests in the Netherlands were up over 40 percent in the 
last three years, with the main offense being trafficking in so called hard drugs.” 

Increasingly this problem is spilling over to other nations.^'* The Netherlands is more and more 


^^!d. at p. 87. In this same article. Dr. Wallenberg, head of the Jellinek Clinic, Holland’s 
best known drug clinic, stated: “We have indulged ourselves in a kind of blind optimism in 
Holland concerning cannabis.” Id. This apparent inability to critically examine the impacts of 
quasi-legalized drug policies on drug use trends has substantially aided those in the United States 
who want to legalize drugs. Absent a full assessment of the increasing drug use trends, 
proponents of legalization are free to say whatever they like about the success of the model. 

” See European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Study to Obtain 
Comparable National Estimates of Problem Drug Use, Dec. 1998 (finding 28,000 Dutch heroin 
addicts in 1997, up from 10,000 in 1979); Larry Collins, Holland's Half-Baked Drug 
Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 92 (1999) (citing Dutch government funded Trimbos Institute 
data indicating a tripling of the rate of heroin addiction); see also Robert Dupont, Eric Voth, 
Drug Legalization, Harm Reduction, and Drug Policy. 1 23 Annals of Internal Medicine 46 1 -465 
(1995) (citing a22 percent increase in the number of registered addicts between 1988 and 1993). 

^'The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Annual Report on the 
State of the Drugs Problem in Europe, 31 (1998). The Netherlands was the only nation among 
fifteen EU member states listed with trafficking of hard drugs as the mam offense driving these 
increases in drug-related arrests. Id, 

^^See Lecture by Peter Reijnders, 11c., Assistant Chief Constable, Chief of the National 
Unit Synthetic Drugs of the Netherlands, delivered at the 25th European Meeting of Heads of 
National Drug Services, Edinburgh, UK, May 4-6, 1999 (noting that 26 different countries 
worldwide have reported seizures of MDMA originating in the Netherlands, including 1 24 cases 


11 



44 


seen as Europe’s sviithetic drug production center by law enforcement agencies. It is reported 
that British Customs has determined that virtually all the synthetic drugs seized in the United 
Kingdom last year were manufactured in the Netherlands or Belgium.-' Similar reports suggest 
that 98 percent of the amphetamines seized in France in 1997 came from Holland, as did 73.6 
percent of the ecstasy tablets.^* Synthetic drugs manufactured in the Netherlands are also now 
increasingly turning up in the United States.-’- 

These impacts are not lost upon the Dutch people who increasingly support a more balanced 
approach to fighting drug use. A 1995 poll by Telepanei, a polling organization associated with 
the University of Amsterdam found that nearly three-quarters of the Dutch people want tougher 
measures against those who deal in and use drugs.-® Despite the normalization of marijuana in 
the Netherlands over half the Dutch people believe “soft drugs” should be criminalized.’’' By 
way of comparison, these numbers are far higher than the support for alternative drug policies in 
the United States.:^'’ 

Proponents of legalization argue that the Dutch experience provides a model for a “softer 
approach” to fighting drug use. Upon close examination the pitfalls of the Dutch experience 
offer more than ample evidence to dissuade the United States from adopting the drug policies of 
die Netherlands^* Instead the Dutch example clearly argues in favor of continuing the balanced 


involving more than 500 grams). 

’^Larry Collins, Holland's Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 84 

(1999). 


^Hd. 


^^d. at 97. 

’^Hassela Nordic Network, Press Release, Nov. 9, 1995. 

’’Hassela Nordic Nenvork, Press Release, June 14, 1995 (poll by the newspaper 
Algemeen Dagblad); Hassela Nordic Network, Press Release. Nov. 9, 1995 (poll by Erasmus 
University, Rotterdam, finding 6 1 percent of Dutch think all dnigs should be prohibited). 

*^See. e.g.. Gallup Organization, Americans Oppose General Legalization of Marijuana 

(1999). 


‘**The experiences of other nations that have flirted with legalization-like schemes also 
provide evidence that legalization is not a viable policy option. For example, in 1964, Great 
Britain began providing medical prescriptions for heroin to addicts. The policy was discontinued 
because it caused a 100 percent increase in the numbers of addicts and contributed to a 
significant increase in crime. See Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Legalization: Myths 


12 



45 


U.S. approach, which is producing results. 


and Misconceptions, 17 (1994). Similarly, during ONDCP’s 1998 trip to Sweden, Swedish 
officials described how that nation had tried and rejected a more liberalized approach to drug 
control because use rates and attendant harms had increased significantly with the liberalization. 


13 



46 


B. The American Experience 

American experiences with drug legalization portend similar risks to those experienced in 
Holland. During the 1970s. our nation engaged in a serious debate over the shape of our drug 
control policies. (For example, within the context of this debate, between 1973 and 1979. eleven 
states “decriminalized” marijuana). During this timeframe, the number of Americans supporting 
marijuana legalization hit a modem-day high.''* While it is difficult to show causal links, it is 
clear that during this same period, from 1972 to 1979, manjuana use rose from 14 percent to 3 1 
percent among adolescents, 48 percent to 68 percent among young adults, and 7 percent to 20 
percent among adults over twenty-six.’*^ This period marked one of the largest drug use 
escalations in American history. 

A similar dynamic played out nationally in the late ISOO's and early i900*s. Until the 1890s, 
today’s controlled substances — such as marijuana, opium, and cocaine - were almost 
completely unregulated.^ It was not until the last decades of the 1800s that several states passed 
narcotics control laws.*- Federal regulation of narcotics did not come into play until the Harrison 
Act of 1914. 

Prior to the enactment of these laws, narcotics were legal and widely available across the United 
States. In fact, narcotics use and its impacts were commonplace in American society. Cocaine 
was found not only in early Coca-Cola (until 1903) but also in wine, cigarettes, liqueur-like 
alcohols, hypodermic needles, ointments, and sprays. Cocaine was falsely marketed as a cure for 
hay fever, sinusitis and even opium and alcohol abuse. Opium abuse was also widespread. One 
year before Bayer introduced aspirin to the market, the company also began marketing heroin as 
a “nonaddictive,” no prescription necessary, over-the-counter cure-all. 

During this period, drug use and addiction increased sharply. While there are no comprehensive 
studies of drug abuse for this period that are on par with our current National Household Survey 
on Drug Abuse and Monitoring the Future studies, we can, for example, extrapolate increases in 


Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1997, 150- 
151 (1997). In 1973, 18 percent of the American people supported legalization of marijuana. In 
19976, that number grew to 28 percent. By 1978, that number reached 30 percent, the highest it 
has reached from the 1970's to date. 

ADAMHA, PHS, DHHS, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main 
Findings J98S (mS), 

‘^See David Musto, The American Disease, 10 (1972). 

at p. 10, 91-95. Pennsylvania passed the first state-level anti-morphine law as early 
as 1860. Id. at p. 91. Ohio followed suit with an anti-opium smoking law in 1897. Id. 


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47 


opium use from opium imports, which were trackec/* Yale University’s Dr, David Musto, one 
of the leading experts on the patterns of drug use in the United States, writes; “The numbers o f 
those overusing opiates must have increased during the nineteenth century as the per capita 
importation of crude opium increased from less than 1 2 grains annually in the 1 840s to more 
than 52 grains in the 1890s.”*' Only in the 1890s when societal concerns over and disapproval of 
drug use began to become widespread and triggered legal responses did these rates level off/'^ 
Until this change in attitudes began to denormalize drug use. the United Slates experienced over 
a 400 rcenl increase in opium use alone. This jump is even more staggering if one considers 
that during this period other serious drugs, such as cocaine, were also widely available in every'- 
day products. 

Moreover, while we do not believe that the period of prohibition on alcohol is directly analogous 
to current efforts against drugs,*^ oar experiences with alcohol prohibition also raise parallel 
concerns. While prohibition was not without its flaws, during this period alcohol usage fell to 
between 30 to 50 percent of its pre-prohibition levels. From 1916 to 1919 (just pnor to 
prohibition went into effect in 1920), U.S. alcohol consumption averaged 1 .96 gallons per person 
per year.^‘ During prohibition, alcohol use fell to a low of .90 gallons per person per year.^- In 
the decade that followed prohibition’s repeal, alcohol use increased to a per capita annual 


‘‘^During this period almost all U.S. opium was imported for domestic use with little or no 
transhipment. Thus, for this timeframe rates of imports are the best indicator for rates of 
domestic use. Id. at p. 252, note 5. 

at p. 5. Domestic demand for opium began to increase in the 1840s and continued to 
grow until roughly the 1 890s. At its peak in the 1 890s domestic consumption of crude opium 
leveled off at a high of 500,000 pounds each year. At the same time, morphine and morphine 
salts consumption reached 20,000 ounces annually. Id- at p. 252, note 5. 

at p. 252, note 5, and accompanying text. 

'*’Most importantly, prohibition sought to stop a societal behavior that was socially 
accepted and widespread. In contrast, our current drug policies are backed by overwhelming 
societal disapproval of drugs. See Robert Dupont, Eric Voih, Drug Legalization. Harm 
Reduction, and Drug Policy, 123 Annals of Internal Medicine 461 -465 (1995). 

Aaron and David Musto, Temperance and Prohibition in America: A Historical 
Overview, in Beyond the Shadow of Prohibition, 164-165 (Mark H. Moore & Dean P. Gerstein 
eds., 1981). 

^‘Arnold Trebach & James Inciardi, Legalize It? Debating American Drug Policy, 109- 

110(1993). 


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average of 1.54 gallons and has since steadily risen to 2.43 gallons in 1989,'-’ Prohibition also 
substantially reduced the rates of alcohol-related illnesses.-"* 

The United States has tried drug legalization and rejected it several times now because of the 
suffering it brings. The philosopher Santayana was right in his admonition that 'hhose who 
cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Let us not now be so foolish as to once 
again consider this well worn, dead-end path. 

C. The Impact oh Youth 

Most importantly the legalization of drugs in the United States would lead to a disproportionate 
increase in drug use among young people. In 1975, the Alaskan Supreme Court invalidated 
certain sections of the state’s criminal code pertaining to the possession of marijuana. Based on 
this finding, from 1975 to 1 99 1 , possession of up to four ounces of the drug by an adult who was 
lawfully in the state of Alaska became legal.-- Even though marijuana remained illegal for 
children, marijuana use rates among Alaskan youth increased significantly."^ In response, 
concerned Alaskans, in particular the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth, 
sponsored an anti-drug referendum that was approved by the voters in 1 990, once again 
rendering marijuana illegal. 

In addition to the impact of expanded availability, legalization would have a devastating effect 
on how our children see drug use. Youth drug use is driven by attitudes. When young people 
perceive drugs as risky and socially unacceptable youth drug use drops. Conversely, when 
children perceive less risk and greater acceptability in using drugs, their use increases. If nothing 
else, legalization would send a strong message that taking drugs is a safe and socially accepted 
behavior that is to be tolerated among otir peers, loved ones and children. Such a normalization 
would play a major role in softening youth attitudes and, ultimately, increasing drug use. 


Mark H. Moore, Actually. Prohibition iVas a Success, New York Times, A21, Oct. 
16, 1989. During prohibition, cirrhosis death rates for men went from 29.5 per 100,000 in 191 1, 
to 10.7 per 100,000 in 1929. Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcohol psychosis also fell 
from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 per 100,000 in 1928. Id.: see also John Noble, et al.. 
Cirrhosis Hospitalization and Mortality Trends 1970-87, 108 Public Health Reports 192 (1993). 

^^See Rain v. Stark, 537 P.2d 494 (AK 1975). The court’s holding did not effect the 
statutory provisions dealing with the purchase, sale or manufacture of marijuana, which remained 
illegal during this period. 

^^Information provided by Drug Watch International (citing Bernard Segal, Center for 
Alcohol and Addiction Studies University of Alaska, Drug Taking Behavior Among Alaskan 
Youth - 7955, Nov. 1988). 


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The significant increases in youth drug use that would accompany legalization are panicuurly 
troubling because their effects would be felt over the course of a generation or longer. Without 
help, addictions last a lifetime. Every additional young person we allow to become addicted to 
drugs will impose tremendous human and fiscal burdens on our society. Legalization would be a 
usurious debt upon our society’s future - the costs of such an approach would mount 
exponentially with each new addict, and over each new day. 

D. The Impact of Drug Prices 

If drugs were legalized, we can also expect that the atteiuiant drop in drug prices to cause drug 
use rates to grow as drugs become increasingly affordable to buy.^’ Currently a gram of cocaine 
sells for between S 1 50 and S200 on U.S. streets.-* The cost of cocaine production is as low as S3 
per gram.” In order to justify legalization, the market cost for legalized cocaine w^ould have to 
be set so low as to make the black market, or bootleg cocaine, economically unappealing,'^ 
Assume, for argument sake, that the market price was set at S 1 0 per gram, a three hundred 
percent plus markup over cost, each of the fifty hits of cocaine in that gram could retail for as 
tittle as ten cents. 

With the cost of “getting high" so as low as a dime (ten cents) - about the cost of a cigarette - 
the price of admission to drug use would be no obstacle to anyone even considering it.^’ 
However, each of these “dime” users risks a life-long drug dependence problem that will cost 
them, their families, and our society tens of thousands of dollars. 


^^See Grossman ei al. Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption, in 
Searching for Alternatives, at p. 77 (Melvyn B. Kraus & Edward P. Lear, eds. 1991) (with 
respect to cigarettes a 10 percent drop in price yields a 7 to 8 percent increase in demand). 

^*ABT Associates, The Price of Illicit Drugs: 1981 Through Second Quarter of 1 998, 
prepared forONDCP (Feb. 1999). 

^Moreover, the cost of production of legalized cocaine would shrink below today's 
levels. For example, the shipment of legal cocaine without the need to conceal, the movement of 
profits without the need to launder, and the ability to manufacture without and market without 
losses to law enforcement, would all provide significant economies. 

^See George Soros, Soros on Soros, 200 (1995) (recognizing the need to set prices of 
legalized drugs low enough to undercut a black market). 

•^'The impact of pricing on youth substance use is well established with respect to alcohol 
and taxes. Moreover, one study has found that increases in alcohol prices not only reduces youth 
alcohol consumption, but also marijuana use. See Rosalie Liccardo Pacuia, Does Increasing the 
Beer Tax Reduce Marijuana Consumption?. 17 J. Health Economics 557-585 (1998). 


17 



50 


In addition to the impact on youth, we would also expect to see failing drug prices dn\ e 
increasing dmg use among the less affluent. Among these individuals the price of drug use - 
even at today’s levels - remains a barrier to entry into use and addiction. The impact of grow ing 
use within these populations could be severe. Many of these communities are already suffering 
the harms of drug use — children who s^ no other future turning to drugs as an escape, drug 
dealers driving what remains of legitimate business out of their communities, and families being 
shattered by a loved one hooked on drugs. Increased drug use would set back years of 
individual, local, state and federal efTorto to sweep these areas clean of drugs and build new 
opportunities. 

FALLACY: Drug iegallzation would reduce the harm of drug use on our society. 

REALITY: DRUG LEGALIZATION WOULD COST BILLIONS OF DOLLARS .AND 
RISK MILLIONS OF ADDITIONAL INNOCENT LIVES. 

By increasing the rates of drug abuse, legalization would exact a tremendous cost on our society. 
If drugs were legalized, the United States would see significant increases in the number of drug 
users, the number of drug addicts, and the number of people dying from dmg-related causes. 

While many of these costs would fall first and foremost on the user, countless other people 
would also suffer if drugs were legalized. Contrary to what libertarians and legalizers would 
have US believe, drug use is not a victimless crime. 

A. Increases in Child Abuse and Neglect 

Innocent children suffer the most from drug abuse. In No Safe Havens, experts from Columbia 
University’s Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse found that substance abuse (including 
drugs and alcohol) exacerbates seven of every ten child abuse or neglect cases. In the last ten 
years, driven by substance abuse, the number of abused and neglected children has more than 
doubled, up from 1.4 million in 1986 to three million in 1997.^^ In 1994, the American Journal 
of Public Health reported that children whose parents abuse drugs or alcohol are four times more 
likely to be neglected and/or abused than children w'iih parents who were not drug abusing.” 


“Jeanne Reid, e/ a/.. No Safe Haven: Children of Substance Abusing Parents {\990) 
(published by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University). 

^Chaffin M. Kellecherk, Fischer E. Hollenberg, Alcohol and Drug Disorders Among 
Physically Abusive and Neglectful Parents in a Community-Based Sample, 84 Am. J. Public 
Health 1586-90(1994). 


18 



51 


19 



52 


If drugs were made legal, among the growing ranks of the addicted will be scores of people with 
children. Given the clear linkage between rates of addiction and child abuse and neglect, more 
drag use will cause tens of thousands of additional children to suffer from abuse and neglect as 
parents turn away from their children to chase their habit. 

B. Increases in Drugged Driving Accidents 

Over the last ten years, Americans have grown increasingly aware of the death toll related to 
drinking and driving. While we focus less on the risks of drugged-driving, the fact is that if the 
driver on the road next to you is dragged, you and whoever is riding with you are at nsk. A 
National Transportation Safety Board study of 182 fatal truck accidents revealed that 12,5 
percent of the drivers had used marijuana, in comparison to 12.5 percent who used alcohol, 8.5 
percent who used cocaine and 7.9 percent who used stimulants.® Illegal drugs (marijuana, 
cocaine, and stimulants combined) were present in more accidents than alcohol — even though 
alcohol is legal and far more available. “A study of 440 drivers, ages 1 5 to 34 years old, who 
were killed in California during a two-year period detected alcohol and marijuana in one-third of 
victims. More than one-half consumed a drug or drugs other than alcohol.”® 

Historically, we believe that impaired drivers drive more recklessly. A 1995 roadside study 
conducted in Memphis, Tennessee of reckless drivers not believed to be impaired by alcohol, 
found that 45 percent tested positive for marijuana.® 

Most disturbingly, drugged driving often appears among the most inexperienced drivers, namely 
young people. The 1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that 13 percent of 
young people aged sixteen to twenty drove a car less than two hours after drug use at least once 
during the past year.® These young drivers are generally unaware of the dangers they present to 


“National Transportation Safety Board Report, Washington, D.C., Febraaiy 5, 1990. 

“NHTSA, The Highway Safety Deskbook, Part IV (1996). 

“Brookoff, D. et al. Testing Reckless Drivers for Cocaine and Marijuana, 320 New Rng. 
J. Med. 762-768 (1994). 

“Office of Applied Statistics, Driving After Drugs or Alcohol Use: Findings From the 
1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (1998) (published by NHTSA, DOT, 

SAMSHA and HHS). Findings with respect to youth drinking and driving also suggest that if 
drugs were made legal, drugged driving would be most problematic among young people. See. 
e.g.. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Alcohol Traffic Safety Facts 1997, 1997 
(the highest intoxication rates in fatal crashes in 1 997 were recorded for drivers 21-24yearsold). 


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themselves and others. Among 16 to 20 year olds who drove after marijuana use, 57 percent said 
they did so because they were not “’high enough to cause a crash."® 

When a person using drugs takes the wheel, his drug use is likely to have human costs. Not only 
is the drugged driver at risk, but all those around him are as well. On January 29, 1999, a car 
with five young girls — high school juniors in a middle class suburb of Philadelphia — crashed 
into a tree, killing the driver and the other occupants.™ The medical examiner’s report concluded 
that the driver lost control of die car not because of speed or inexperience but because she was 
impaired from “huffing” — inhaling a chemical solvent - to get high. Three of the passengers 
were also found to have used the drug. Five more young people, all with bright futures, are dead 
because of drug use behind the wheel. 

If drugs were legalized the rate of drugged driving would increase. Added to the countless 
tragedies caused by drinking and driving would be scores of deaths and injuries from people 
taking legalized drags and driving while impaired. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 16,189 
alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 1997 (38.6 percent of the total traffic fatalities for the year).'’ 
NHTSA also reports that in 1997, more than 327,000 people were injured in auto crashes where 
police reported that alcohol was present.’^ These tragic statistics make abundantly clear the risks 
we would face if other drags, such as heroin, marijuana and LSD, were made legal and widely 
available. 

C. Increases in Workplace .Accidents, Decreasing Productivity 

Just as drug impairment behind the wheel puts others at risk, so too does impairment on the job. 
Since over 60 percent of drug users in the United States are employed,” it is not surprising that 
workplace drug use is a significant problem. .According to a 1995 Gallup survey, 35 percent of 


^’Office of Applied Statistics, Driving After Drugs or Alcohol Use: Findings From the 
1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (1998) (published by NHTSA, DOT, 
SAMSHAandHHS). 

™Sce, e.g., CNN The World Today, Deaths of Five Schoolgirls in Philadelphia Car 
Crash Raises Awareness of Chemical Inhalants, Mar. 2, 1999, 8:24 pm EST (LEXIS/NEXIS). 

’‘National Highw'ay Traffic Safety Administration, Alcohol Traffic Safety Facts 1997, 

1997. 


’’Office of Applied Studies, SAMSHA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: 
Main Findings 1997 (1998). 


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American employees report having seen drug use on-the-job by co-workers.’’ One-in-ten report 
having been offered drugs while at work.” Drug use in the workplace diminishes productivity 
and increases costs.’” Drag using employees are more likely to have taken an unexcused absence 
in the last month, and are more likely to change or leave a job. -' The National Institute on Drug 
Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimated that the cost to our 
nation’s productivity from illegal drug use was S69.4 billion in 1992.” Increasing rates of drug 
use burden our economy as a whole. They also place businesses, in particular small businesses, 
at risk. In the end, it is the Amencan consumer who ultimately pays these costs. 

When drugs are mixed with the heavy machinery of industry, the results can be devastating. In 
1987, a Conrail freight train operated by an engineer who had been smoking marijuana struck an 
■Amtrak passenger train, killing sixteen people and injuring more than one-hundred.” Last July, 
a passenger train and a truck carrying steel coils collided.*” The driver of the truck, who was 
cited by police for more than a dozen violations relating to the crash, tested positive for 
marijuana immediately following tlie accident. The collision dislodged one of the twenty-ton 
coils, causing it to roll through the train’s first passenger compartment, killing three and injuring 


’■‘Gallup Organization, What American Employees Think About Drugs (1995) (prepared 
for the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace). 

^*‘See, e.g., Robert Dupont, Never Trust Anyone Under 40: What Employers Should Know 
About Drug Testing 48 Policy Review pp. 52-57 ( 1989) (drug using workers are 3 to 4 times as 
likely to have an on-the-job accident, 2 to 3 times as likely to file a medical claim, and 25 to 35 
percent less productive). 

’’ONDCP, The 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, 17(1 999). 

’'The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and 
Alcoholism, The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992, 5-1 
(1998). 

’’See, e.g., CNN NEWS, A Historical Perspective on Amtrak Accidents, Sept. 22, 1993; 
Lori Sham, Will Tests Keep Booze Out of Cabs, Cockpits, USA Today, Jan. 14, 1992, lA; Rep. 
Bob Whittaker, The Drugs and Alcohol Crisis: Congress Must Pass Legislation Requiring 
Workers to Take Drug and Alcohol Tests Before Assuming Life Threatening Responsibilities, 
Roll Call, July 23, 1990, Briefing No. 17. 

“See, e.g., Jon Hilkevich, Police Say Test Shows Drug Use By Trucker in Train Crash. 
Chicago Tribune, June 25, 1998, 1 ; Marijuana Found in Trucker Involved in Fatal Train Wreck, 
New York Times, June 25, 1998, Alb. 


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others.*' 

Highly publicized disasters like these capture the public’s attention. However, the harms of 
drug abuse build incrementally on job sites all across the nation, every day. Utah Power & Light 
employees who tested positive on pre-employment drug tests were five times more likely to be 
involved in a workplace accident than those who tested negative.** The 1995 Gallup survey 
similarly found that 42 percent of American employees believe that drug use greatly affects 
workplace safety,** Even these numbers are likely to underestimate the hanns caused by drugs 
on-the-job; for a variety of reasons drug-related on-the-job injuries are likely under-reported. 

One way to factor the risks presented by on-the-job drug use is to extrapolate from the rate at 
which drug-free workplace programs can reduce job-related accidents. For example, the Boeing 
corporation’s drug-free workplace program has saved over $2 million in employee medical 
claims.** At Southern Pacific railroad, the injury rate dropped 71 percent wdth the development 
of a drug- free workplace assistance program.*’ One of the major auto manufacturers has reported 
82 percent decline in job-related accidents since implementing an employee substance abuse 
assistance program. Similarly, an Ohio study found that substance abuse treatment programs 
significantly reduced on-the-job injuries.*'' If job-related drug assistance programs can prevent 
such high rates of accidents, it follows that drugs cause large numbers of injuries among 
America’s employees. 

If drugs were made legal, use - including on-the-job drug use - will increase. Growing numbers 
of drag users operating heavy equipment, driving tractor-trailers, and operating buses, would 
inevitably lead to greater numbers of workplace injuries. While the impaired drag user is most at 
nsk from their own actions, countless innocent people - co-workers and ordinary citizens - 


supra n. 80. 

*^See Testimony of Mark A. DiBemardo, Executive Director, Institute for a Drug-Free 
Workplace, Before the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, Subcommittee 
on National Security, International Affairs and Criminal Justice, on Employer Drug-Testing and 
Drug Abuse Prevention, June 27, 1996. 

**The Gallup Organization, What American Employees Think About Drugs (1995) 
(prepared for the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace). 

’“"Dan Rhodes, Drugs in the Workplace, 67 Occupational Health & Safety 136-1 38 

(1998). 


*’/d. 


“M (The Ohio study found that substance abuse treatment programs could reduce on-the- 
job injuries by as much as 97). 


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would also face added dangers. Additionally, apart from the human costs, significantly increased 
numbers of on-the-job drug-related accidents w'ould cost the American economy countless 
millions - ranging from rising insurance costs, to personal injury' settlements, to losses through 
decreased productivity, 

FALLACY; Drugs are harmful because they are illegal. 

REALITY; DRUGS ARE HARMFUL NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE ILLEGAL; THEY 
ARE ILLEGAL BECAUSE THEY ARE HARMFUL. 

Critics argue that the harm to our society from drugs, such as the costs of crime, could be 
reduced if drugs were legalized. The logic is flawed. By increasing the availability of drugs, 
legalization would dramatically increase the harm to innocent people. With more drugs and dnig 
use in our society, there would be more drug-related child abuse, more drugged driving fatalities, 
and more drug-related workplace accidents. None of these harms are caused by law or law 
enforcement but by illegal drugs. 

Even with respect to the crime-related impact of drugs, drag-related crimes are driven far more 
by addiction than by the illegality of drugs. Law enforcement doesn’t cause people to steal to 
support their habits; they steal because they need money to fuel an addiction - a drug habit that 
often precludes them from earning an honest living. Even if drugs were legal, people would still 
steal and prostitute themselves to pay for addictive drugs and support their addicted lifesty les. 
Dealers don’t deal to children because the law makes it illegal; dealers deal to kids to build their 
market by hooking them on a life-long habit at an early age, when drugs can be marketed as cool 
and appealing to young people who have not matured enough to consider the real risks. Make no 
mistake: legalizing drags won’t stop pushers from selling heroin and other drugs to kids. 
Legalization will, however, increase drug availability and normalize drag-taking behavior, which 
will increase the rates of youth drug abuse. 

For example, although the Dutch have adopted a more tolerant approach to illegal drugs, crime is 
in many oases increasing rapidly in Holland. The most recent international police data (1995) 
shows that Dutch per capita rates for breaking and entering, a crime closely associated with drug 
abuse, are three times the rate of those in Switzerland and the United States, four times the 
French rate, and 50 percent greater than the German rate.*' “A 1997 report on hard-drag use in 
the Netherlands by the government-financed Trimbos Institute acknowledged that ‘drug use is 
considered the primary motivation behind crimes against property’ - 23 years after the Dutch 


Interpol, International Crime Statistics (1995); see also Director Barry R. 
McCaffrey, Memorandum for the President’s Drug Policy Council, ONDCP Trip to Europe (Il- 
ls July 1998), September 2, 1998. 


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[drug] policy was supposed to put a brake on that.”** Moreover, Foreign Affairs recently noted 
that in areas of Holland where youth cannabis smokers are most prevalent, such as .Amsterdam, 
Utrecht and Rotterdam, the rates of juvenile crime have “witnessed skyrocketing growth” over 
the last three to four years.*’ Statistics from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics indicate that 
between 1978 and 1992, there was a gradual, steady increase in violence of more than 160 
percent.* 

In contrast, crime rates in the United States are rapidly dropping. For example, the rate of drug- 
related murders in the United States has hit a ten-year low,’' In 1989, there were 1,402 drug- 
related murders. By 1997 that number fell to 786. In 1995, there were 581,000 robbenes in the 
United States. By 1997, that number fell to roughly 498,000.” 

America’s criminal justice system is not the root cause of drug-related crime. It is the producers, 
traffickers, pushers, gangs and enforcers who are to blame, as are all the people who use drags 
and never think about the web of criminality and suffenng their drug money supports. 


FALLACY: We are fighting a war on drugs. 

REALITY: OUR BALANCED EFFORTS AGAINST DRUGS ARE ANALOGOUS TO 
THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER 

Wars have defined end states - victory over an enemy. Our efforts against drugs have no such 
neatly defined end; with each generation the struggle to prevent drug use begins anew. Addicted 
Americans - parents, siblings, and children - are not the enemy, they require treatment. Wars 
are waged with weapons and soldiers; prevention and treatment are our primary tools against 
drugs. Consequently, our efforts tho reduce drug use are analogous to the fight against cancer. 

Nevertheless, an effective counter-drug strategy must focus on both supply and demand 
reduction. Supply-side efforts (law enforcement and interdiction) are necessary because, as basic 
economic rules dictate, unabated supply will ultimately create its own demand. However, those 


**Larry Collins, Holland’s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 92 

(1999). 

at 88. 

*P. VanKalleveen, Violent Crimes in Central Bureau of Statistics, Justitiele 
V erkenningen ( 1 ), 29-47 ( 1 994). 

’•Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Report for the United States (1997). 

«/rf. 


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of US who have experienced combat know that such supply-side efforts are a far cry from ■war." 
In fact, the use of civilian authorities to protect against drugs is no more war-iike than the same 
role these same police officers play in combating robberies, car thefts, or domestic violence. It is 
sheer folly to suggest that when a police officer patrols a neighborhood to stop these other crimes 
he is doing a community service, however when he finds drugs, his efforts somehow become part 
of a conjured up “drug war.” 


FALLACY: Our current approach to drugs is not making a difference. 

REALITY: WE ARE MAKING STRONG, STEADY PROGRESS IN REDUCING 

DRUG USE .AND PREVENTING YOUNG PEOPLE FROM TURNING TO 
DRUGS. 

Rather than trade rhetoric, we should focus on results: 

• Over the last twenty years we have cut drug use (past month) in the United States by 
half and reduced cocaine use by 75 percent (past month).” 

• Over the last two years, youth drug use rales have leveled off and in many cases have 
begun to fail. This shift marks a sharp departure from the prior six years, which saw 
steady increases in youth drug use. Most importantly, we have begun to see a sharpening 
of youth attitudes against drugs ~ youth increasingly see drugs as risky and 
unacceptable.” 

• The number of drug-related murders has now hit a ten-year low. In 1 989, there were 
1402 drug-related nnirders; by 1997 that number had fallen to 786.” 

e Spending on illegal drugs has dropped 37 percent from 1988 to 1995, an annual savings 
of $34.1 billion.” 

Such results against any other societal ill would be called a huge success. Let me thank the 

Committee and the Congress as a whole for your bipartisan support of our counter-drug 

programs. Without your strong support results like these would not have been possible. 


’^Office of Applied Statistics, SAMSHA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: 
Main Findings 1997 (1998), 




’’Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Report for the United States (1997). 
’‘ONDCP, What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 1988-1995, 1 (1997). 


26 



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III. THE SOLUTION TO AMERICA’S DRUG PROBLEM IS THE 
BALANCED APPROACH EMBODIED IN OUR 
NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL STRATEGY 


There is no simple solution to America’s drug problem. In order to effectively address this 
problem we must attack both the supply and demand for drugs. Pursuing one of these goals at 
the expense of the other will only unbalmce our efforts and reduce the likelihood of success.'’' 

The National Drug Control Strategy establishes a multi-year framework to reduce illegal drug 
use and availability by 50 percent within ten years. If this target is achieved, less than 3 percent 
of the household population aged twelve and over would use illegal drugs - the lowest recorded 
drug-use rate in modem American history. Drug-related health, economic, social, and criminal 
costs would be reduced commensuralely. To achieve this target, the Strategy focuses on 
prevention, treatment, research, law enforcement, protection of our borders, and international 
cooperation. 

The National Drug Control Strategy is guided by five goals that cover the three broad aspects of 
drug control - demand reduction, supply reduction, and the adverse consequences of drug abuse 
and trafficking. Reducing the demand for illegal drugs is the centerpiece of our Strategy, but 
supply reduction and consequence management are also critical components of a well-balanced 
strategic approach to drug control. The five goals reflect the need for prevention and education 
to protect all Americans (especially children) from the perils of drugs, treatment to help the 
chemically dependent, law enforcement to bnng traffickers a.nd other drug offenders to justice, 
interdiction to reduce the flow of drugs into our nation, and international cooperation to confront 
drug cultivation, production, trafficking, and use. 


^''Accord, National Research Council, Assessment of Two Cost-Effectiveness Studies on 
Cocaine Control Policy (1999) (finding that two separate studies commonly used to justify 
spending on particular anti-drug efforts at the expense of other anti-drug efforts were both 
flawed). The National Research Council study commissioned by ONDCP, reviewed the earlier 
findings of a study by the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) on the cost effectiveness of 
interdiction efforts. The IDA Study has been used by some to advocate dramatically expanded 
spending on interdiction at the expense of a more balanced approach. Recently, the National 
Research Council found that the research foundation of the IDA study is inadequate to serve as 
the basis for sound public policy. The Council also assessed the RAND study. Controlling 
Cocaine: Supply Versus Demand Programs, which concluded that marginal dollars should be 
spent on treatment rather than supply control. The NRC concluded that while the RAND study 
senses as an important point of departure for the development of richer models of the market for 
cocaine, the findings do not constitute a persuasive basis for the formulation of cocaine control 
policy. 


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1. Goals of the 1 999 Strategy 

Goal 1: Educate and enable America’s youth to reject illegal drugs as well as alcohol 

and tobacco. 

Goal 2: Increase the safety of America’s citizens by substantially reducing drug- 

related crime and violence. 

Goal 3; Reduce health and social costs to the public of illegal drug use. 

Goal 4: Shield America’s air, land, and sea frontiers from the drug threat. 

Goal S; Break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply. 


2. Overview of the Strategy 

The National Drug Control Strategy takes a long-term, holistic view of the nation’s drug 
problem. The document maintains that no single solution can suffice to deal with the 
multifaceted issue, that several solutions .must be applied simultaneously, and that focusing on 
outcomes - measured in declining drug use and a lessening of attendant social consequences - 
can achieve our goals. Our Strategy focuses on those approaches that we know work in reducing 
drug use. 

3. Educating Young People 

Our primary focus is on preventing youth drug use. Studies show that attitudes about drugs drive 
youth drug use rates. Preventing drug use before it starts is more effective and cost efficient than 
trying to break a person free from an already established addiction. By reaching young people 
before they try drugs, we can help them reject these deadly substances and go on to full, safe, and 
productive lives. 

Our commitment to prevention is backed by significant resources. With the support of Congress 
in passing our FY2000 counter-drug budget, we will increase federal drug prevention funds by 
55 percent since FY1996. Your continued support for our drug prevention efforts is critical to 
protecting our nation’s children and will build upon our common efforts to date. 

For example, with the bipartisan support of Congress, we have launched the National Youth 
Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a five-year S2 billion public-priv'ate partnership. The Media 
Campaign is using the full power of modem media — from television to the Internet to sports 
marketing - to educate children, parents, and other adult influencers about the dangers of drugs. 


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Already, the Campaign is producing results; 


• Phase I of the Campaign achieved our objective of increasing awareness. Our evaluation shows that youth 
and teens demonstrated significant increases in ad recall in the target versus the comparison sites --- youth 
increases ranged from 1 1 to 26 percent, teens ranged from 13 to 27 percent. Parents in target sites had an 

1 1 percent gain in awareness of the risks of drugs and said that the Campaign provided them whth new 
information about drugs (a 7 percent increase). 

• Th« Campaign's initial target for "reach and frequency" was to reach 90 percent of our 
overall teen target audience (young people ages nine to eighteen) with anci*drug messages 
four times per week. 

• The Campaign is already reaching 95 percent of our youth urget audience 6.8 times per 
week. 

• With respect to our reach, we are reaching nearly every single American child on a regular 
basis with anti-drug information. With respect to frequency, we are putting this 
information in front of them at a rate of roughly twice our goaf. 

• We are buying advertising in 2250 media outlets nationwide (newspaper, TV, radio, 
magazines, billboards, movie theaters, and others). By any standard, the Campaign is the 
strongest multi-cultural communications effort ever launched by the federal government 
and livais that of most corporate efforts. 

• Among African American youth within the target age audience, we are doing even better 
— reaching 95 percent of the young people 7.8 times per week. 

• Within the Hispanic youth target group, we are reaching 94 percent of our audience with 
messages /n Spanish 4.8 times per week - not to mention the substantial impact of 
messages In English on bilingual young people. 

• The Campaign delivers $35 million worth of anti-drug messages per year to ethnic young 
people and their adult infiuencers (e.g., parents, grandparents, coaches, teachers, civic 
leaders, the faith community, and others). 

• We are now developing campaign materials in ten additional languages. 

• We are the largest governmental advertiser in African American newspapers and are 
among the top advertisers on Black Entertainment Television. 

• The Campaign's target is a one-for-one match; for every taxpayer dollar we spend, we 
require an added dollar's worth of anti-drug public service, pro bono activity. 

• The Campaign's private sector match is now at the 109 percent level (or $165 million) 
for the broadcast industry (matches of ad time on TV and radio). Overall, the corporate 
match for all Campaign efforts is at the 102 percent level (or $1 75*4 million). 

• Since last July, over 47,000 thirty second PSAs have run on television and radio because 
of the Campaign. 

• In addition to the pro bono match, we have received over $42 million of corporate In- 
kind support. Companies, such as Gateway and UPS, were quick to loin our team. 

• Thirty-two network television episodes have aired — on the shows our young people most 
watch, using the stars they most know -- that have included the Campaign's strategic 
anti-drug message points. 

• Our corporate efforts are as (fiverse as the rest of the Campaign. We have productive 
partnerships in place with BET, Univision, Telemundo, and numerous other specialized 
ethnic media outlets. 

The messages of the Media Campaign serve as a vital counter-force to the pro-drug use messages 

that buffet our children. For too long, the unfiltered Internet has been the media province of the 


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legalizers.’* Legalizers not only use the internet to push their policy views,” they also use it. for 
example, to tell young people specifically where the best drugs can be bought at the best price in 
their city.'“ Some of these websites even provide young people with direct access to drags.'”' 

However, today, through the Media Campaign, when a young person enters search words that 
relate to drugs — from straightforward words like “marijuana” to slang, like “bud” or “stone” - 
our advertising messages are keyed to respond with accurate drug prevention information. We 
are also developing web content that will give young people the information they need about 
drugs in a manner that is interesting and eye-catching. For example, working with Disney, a 
leader in reaching young people, we recently launched a new teen anti-drug website. 

Our web presence is now substantial enough to balance that of the drug legalization community. 
For example, our two youth websites, “ProjectkNOw" and “Freevibe.com” have respectively 
received 4,721,249 and 866,833 page views since each went online. Through web advertising 
(e.g., Internet “banner” ads) our Campaign has generated 221 million impressions. 

Prevention, however, requires more than just mass media messages. Prevention begins with 
parents and families, and requires the support of schools and communities. 

The most important tool we have against drug use is not a badge or a gun, it is the kitchen table. 
Parents can prevent drug use by sitting down with their children and talking with them — 
honestly and openly - about the dangers of drugs to young lives and dreams. While parents 
often doubt the impact they have on their children’s drug use, the fact is young people listen to 
their parents. For example, recent study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America found that 
65 percent of young people (ages thirteen to seventeen) believe that “a great risk if you use 
marijuana is upsetting your parents.”'® This same study found that 80 percent of our youth (ages 
thirteen to seventeen) believe that “an important reason for not smoking marijuana is so that your 


e.g., Christopher Wren, A Seductive Drug Culture Flourishes on the Internet, The 
New York Times, June 20, 1997. 

”The New York Times has also documented at least one instance where groups 
promoting legalization called upon their counterparts to attack an anti-drug group by 
overwhelming its infrastructure through harassment calls. Id. 

“www.hypereal.org/drugs/price.repo rfru-index.htmr’. 

'“'See CESAR, GHB and GHL: 10 Overdoses Reported in Past 90 Days in Maryland: 
Drugs Available on the Internet, April 1999 (reporting sales of GHB and GHL over the Internet, 
with some of the trafficking websites registering more than 250,000 hits). 

'“"Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Parents and Marijuana in the 90s, Partnership 
.Mtitude Tracking Study 1997 (1997). 


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parents will respect you and will feel proud of you,’’"” 

To help parents we are reaching out — across the Internet, in newspapers, on the airwaves, and 
through community groups - to provide them with the information they need to be able to help 
their children make the right decision and stay drug-free. For example, through a Media 
Campaign alliance with AOL, we have created a Parents Resource Center, that can provide 
information at the click of the mouse. The Department of Education has also recently published 
Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parents Guide to Prevention to give parents the facts and arm them 
with what to say to their children. 

As part of this comprehensive prevention framework. Secretary Riley has recently sent Congress 
the Administration’s proposal for a revamped Safe and Drug Free Schools Program. If adopted 
this new program will improve accountability, require schools to adopt programs proven 
effective, and hold the entire system — from the federal government to the local school - 
accountable for producing real results for our children. 

Through the Drug Free Communities Grant Program we are also providing local anti-drug 
coalitions with support in working to protect young people in their communities from drugs. In 
the first year of the program we made grants to 92 communities, from across 47 states and the 
District of Columbia. These groups are helping mobilize grassroots efforts to prevent drug use. 

4. Combating Normalization 

With attitudes being so critical in shaping drug use trends, it is vital that we ensure that dmg 
talcing never is perceived as “normal” behavior that is accepted or even tolerated by our society. 
The imperative to fight the normalization of drug use has played a critical role in the 
development of federal policies with respect to both medical marijuana and hemp. 

With respect to medical marijuana, the recent Institute of Medicine (lOM) report, Marijuana and 
Medicine, Assessing the Science Base, is the most comprehensive summary and analysis of what 
is known about the medical use of marijuana.'” The report emphasizes evidence-based medicine 
(derived from knowledge and experience informed by rigorous scientific analysis), as opposed to 
belief-based medicine (derived from judgment, intuition, and beliefs untested by rigorous 
science). ONDCP is delighted that the discussion of medical efficacy and safety of 
oannabinoids can now take place within the context of science. 

The lOM report concludes that there is little future in smoked marijuana as a medically approved 


'®/d. 


'•^Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Marijuana and Medicine: 
Assessing the Science Base (1999). 


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65 


medicanoii,'" Although manjuana smoke delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body, it 
also delivers harmful substances, including most of those found in tobacco smoke. The long- 
term harms from smoking make it a poor drug delivery system, particularly for patients with 
chronic diseases. In addition, cannabis plants contain a variable mixture of biologically active 
compounds, therefore they cannot be expected to provide a precisely defined drug effect. 
Medicines today are expected to be of known composition and quality. Even in cases where 
marijuana can provide relief of symptoms, the crude plant mixture does not meet this modem 
expectation. If there is any future in cannabinoid drugs, it lies with agents of more certain, not 
less certain composition. The future of medical marijuana lies on classical pharmacological drug 
development. 

The study also provides a detailed analysis of mMijuana’s addictiveness. It concludes that 
marijuana is indisputably reinforcing for many people. It states that a distinctive marijuana and 
THC withdrawal syndrome has been identified, but it is mild and subtle compared to the 
profound physical syndrome of heroin withdrawal. The study notes that few marijuana users 
become dependent but those w'ho do encounter problems similar to those associated with 
dependence on other drugs. Slightly more than four percent of the general population were 
dependent on marijuana at one time in their life. After alcohol and nicotine, marijuana was the 
substance most frequently associated with a diagnosis of substance dependence. 

In response to the study's recommendations that "clinical trials of marijuana use for medical 
purposes should be conducted,” on May 21, 1999, the Department of Health and Human Ser/ices 
(HHS) released new guidance on procedures for the provision of marijuana for medical research 
purposes,"”' “To facilitate research on the potential medical uses of cannabinoids, HHS has 
determined that it will make research-grade marijuana available on a cost-reimbursable basis . . 
However, pursuant to this guidance, HHS will only provide research cannabinoids for studies 
that strictly meet the conditions contained in the guidance, including that such research must: 
meets good clinical and laboratory research practices; examine the use of cannabinoids only "in 
the treatment of serious or life threatening conditionjs]”; and will address “unanswered scientific 
questions about the effects of marijuana and its constituent cannabinoids or about the safety or 
toxicity of smoked marijuana.” 

ONDCP endorses the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to facilitate further 
research into the potential medical uses of marijuana and its constiment cannabinoids. Such 
research will allow us to better understand what benefits might actually exist for the use of 
cannabinoid-based drugs, and what risks such use entails. It will also facilitate the 


at 7. 

'“Department of Health and Human Services, Announcement of the Department of 
Health and Human Services Guidance on Procedures for the Provision of Marijuana for Medical 
Research, May 21, 1999. 


33 



66 


development of an inhaler or alternate rapid-onset delivery system for THC or other 
cannabinoid drugs. Advisors to both the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of 
Medicine have concluded that such research is warranted. This decision underscores the 
federal govenunent’s commitment to ensuring that the discussion of the medical efficacy and 
safety of cannabinoids takes place within the context of medicine and science. 

Research toward the development of cannabinoid-based medicines is a medical and scientific 
question that America’s health and science establishment must address. However, there are those 
who want to use medical marijuana as a wedge issue to drive open a hole in counter-drug 
programs. For example, Richard Cowan, a member of the Advisory Board of an advocacy group 
called the “Drug Policy Foundation,” in 1995 stated: “Key to legalization is medical access [to 
marijuana] because once you have hundreds of thousands of people using marijuana medically 
under medical supervision, the whole scam is going to be blown. Once there is medical access 
and we continue to do what we have to, and we will, we ll get full legalization.”'" 

While we must exercise compassion and move ahead with the development of treatments that 
can relieve human suffering, we cannot and will not allow progress on the medical front to 
jeopardize the futures of millions of young people.™ Regardless of developments with respect 
to the use of cannabinoid-based medicines, we will continue to frilly enforce the full range of 
Federal laws pertaining to the non-medicina! use of marijuana. 

We face a similar challenge with hemp. Growing numbers of farmers, rightfully or wrongfully, 
believe that hemp may offer a new crop that can help the farm economy. However, there are 
those who want to use de-regulation of hemp to erode America’s disapproval of drugs. Still 
others with criminal intent see hemp as providing a new way to conceal the production of 
marijuana plants. 

If we allow farmers to test the viability of this crop in the marketplace, we must not do so in a 
manner that allows the normalization of marijuana. Products that market their hemp content with 
marijuana leaves do so only to sell their products relationship to marijuana. The appeal of these 
products is not that they are made of hemp but that they are manjuana-related. The hype built 
around these marijuana-related products serves only to glamorize the counter-culture appeal of a 
drag that has serious consequences for our young people who use it. We carmot allow our 
policies toward hemp to directly or indirectly increase the use of marijuana among our youth. 


‘"Sec State of Oregon, Medical Marijuana: A Smoke Screen (1997) (videotape). 

'“*The impacts of marijuana use on a child’s development are well documented. For 
example, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse child (ages 12 to 17) who 
regularly uses marijuana is roughly 5 times more likely to assault someone, 6 times as likely to 
steal, and 6 times as likely to cut classes, as a peer who has never tried the drug. 


34 



67 


,%nerica’s farmers, who have long been among the most steadfast supporters of our counter-drug 
programs, will help us police their own. Similarly, ethical farmers seeking solely to make an 
honest living off a viable legal crop should be more than willing to take the necessary security 
steps to provide the public with confidence that they are growing hemp and not marijuana. 

5. Expanding Treatment 

Drug treatment is proven to reduce drug use, drug-related crime, and other related social ills. 
Studies show that for people who have successfully completed a drug treatment program, even 
one year after treatment, drug use drops 50 percent, illicit activity falls by 60 percent, drug 
selling drops by nearly 80 percent, arrests fall by more than 60 percent, homelessness drops by 
43 percent, dependence on welfare decreases by 1 1 percent and employment increases by 20 
percent,’” In short, treatment works. 

Our FY2000 counter-drug budget requests $3.5 billion for drug treatment and treatment research 
programs, representing a 5.5 percent increase from our FY1999 budget. Overall, assuming our 
FY2000 request is approved, we will increase federal spending on treatment by 25 percent since 
FY1996. Yet, we still have a long way to go to close the treatment gap. In 1996, approximately 
4.4 to 5,3 million people were estimated to need drug treatment."® Slightly less than two million 
people currently receive drug treatment.'" These figures show that we continue to have a 
significant treatment gap. Expansion of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
Administration’s drug treatment and block grant programs, as called for in the Administration’s 
proposed counter-drug budget, will add much needed treatment slots. However, even these gains 
will not nearly close the current treatment gap. 

In a move that will help close this gap, on June 7, 1999, the Office of Personnel Management 
sent a letter to the 285 participating health plans of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan 
informing them that they will have to offer fiill mental health and substance abuse parity"^ to 
participate in the program. This step will provide full parity for nine million beneficiaries by 
next year and will ensure that the Federal government leads the way in providing parity. 


'“’National Institute on Drug Abuse, Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (1997); 
Department of Health and Human Services, National Treatment Improvement and Evaluation 
Study (1996). 

"“ONDCP, The 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, alp. 87, n. 19(1999). 
"‘Matp.57. 

""The Administration’s goal for the FEHB is to make plan coverage for mental health 
and substance abuse care identical to traditional medical care with regard to deductibles, 
coinsurance, copayments, and day and visit limitations. 


35 



68 


Additionally, we are developing new guidelines for methadone treatment, which will expand 
access to this treatment for those who can benefit from it. These new guidelines will also 
improve the quality of methadone treatment programs by shifting them to a clinic-based 
modality. Properly administered, methadone treatment can offer drug-addicted people an 
important bridge to a drug-free lifestyle. By expanding and improving on existing methadone 
treatment programs we can offer addicted individuals the hope of a brighter, more productive, 
drug- free future. 

6. Breaking the Cycle of Drugs and Crime 

Drug dependent people are responsible for a disproportionate amount of our nation’s crime. 
According to the 1998 ADAM report, roughly two-thirds of adult arrestees and more than one- 
half of juvenile arrestees tested positive for at least one illicit drug.' In 1 997, one-third of state 
prisoners and about one-in-five federal prisoners said they had committed the offense that led to 
their imprisonment while under the influence of drugs,"'* Nineteen percent of state inmates said 
they perpetrated their current offense leading to incarceration in order to obtain money to buy 
drugs.’" 

Drug-law offenders are filling our nation’s prisons and imposing tremendous correctional costs 
on our society. The nation’s incarcerated population is now over 1.8 million people. Under the 
present system, far too many addicted individuals enter the cycle of drugs, crime, and prison only 
to spend the rest of their lives caught in this cycle. 

We cannot arrest our way out of our nation’s drug problem. We need to break the cycle of 
addiction, crime, and prison through treatment and other diversion programs. It costs the 
American taxpayer $25,000 a year to imprison a drug-addicted criminal.'" By comparison, a 
year of outpatient treatment costs less than $5,000, and the cost of even more comprehensive 
residential treatment programs range from $5,000 to $15,000 per year."' Evidence also shows 
that drug treatment programs are effective at reducing crime. For example, treatment programs 
administered by the Delaware Department of Corrections have reduced the recidivism rate for 


' Arrestee Drag Abuse Monitoring Program, National Institute of Justice, 3 ( 1 998). 

"'’Christopher Mumola, Substance Abuse Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997, 
(1999) (published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics). 

'"/rf. 


"''Id. 


36 



69 


drug-related crimes by 57 percent."* Birmingham, Alabama’s “Breaking the Cycle" program is 
also producing promising results. Since its inception in June of 1997, tu'o thousand offenders 
successfully completed this program as a condition of their release. To date, their rearrest rate is 
about 1 percent,"’ Breaking the cycle -- through diversion programs and treatment - is not soft 
on dmgs, it is smart on defeating dmgs and crime. 

In 1991, the number of federal inmates receiving substance abuse treatment numbered only 
1,236. By 1998, that number reached 10,006, While this is a substantial step forward, it is still 
only a first step. We estimate that the number of arrestees who require drug treatment may be as 
high as two million a year. If we are to reduce the burdens of drugs and crime on our nation, 
we need to expand dramatically the treatment opportunities in the criminal justice system. 

Similarly, we also need to expand the number of drug courts, which offer nonviolent drug-law 
offenders supervised treatment in lieu of jail. Defendants who complete a drug court program 
either have their charges dismissed or probation sentences reduced. In 1994, there were roughly 
a dozen drag courts nation-wide. In October 1998, 323 drug courts were operating nationwide, 
and more than two hundred were in planning stages."' Even with their growing numbers, 
today’s drug courts still only reach I to 2 percent of the population of nonviolent drug 
offenders.'** 

The counter-drag budget now before the Congress seeks to expand current programs in both of 
these areas. The Administration’s request seeks an additional $ 1 00 million to provide drug abuse 
assistance to state and local governments in developing and implementing comprehensive 
systems for drug testing, treatment and graduated sanctions for drug offenders. The request also 
seeks an added $10 million for drug court programs, to bring the total support for these programs 
to $50 million in FY2000. 


"*James Inciardi, et ai., An Effective Model of Prison-Based Treatment for Drug-involved 
Offenders, 2 Journal ofDrug Issues 261-278 (1997). 

"’ONDCP, The 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, at p. 64 (1999). 

"o/rf, atp.63. 

'*'a. atp. 64. 

'**«. 


37 



70 


7. Helping Communities Fight Drugs 

The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program provides assistance to regions of 
the nation with critical dmg trafficking problems that impact wider areas of the nation. HIDTA 
funds support expanded cooperation between federal, state and local law counter-drag 
enforcement authorities. HIDTAs strengthen America’s drug control efforts by forging 
partnerships among federal, state and local agencies; and facilitating cooperative investigations, 
intelligence sharing and joint operations. There are presently 2 1 HIDTAs. Through funds 
provided by the Congress in our current budget, soon we will announce the creation of five new 
HIDTAs. ' 

Local counter-drag law' enforcement also benefits greatly from federal efforts to increase the 
number of police officers on our streets and better equip them to combat today’s high-technology 
drug traffickers. The Community Oriented Policing Services program, known as COPs, ' .as 
funded over 92,000 new and redeployed police officers to help protect our communities and 
streets. Through the work of the Counter-drug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC) we are 
also helping local law enforcement authorities obtain the most up-to-date drug fighting tools. 

8. Strengthening the Southwest Border 

The shared two-thousand-mile border with Mexico attracts drugs and provides Mexican drug 
traffickers ample opportunity to move large quantities of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and 
methamphetamine into the U.S. Dmg violence spills over this border into the neighboring states 
~ New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona. Drugs that cross this border pass into our heartland 
(into Kansas, Iowa, Illinois) and beyond (Massachusetts, New York, Oregon) and attack cities, 
suburbs, and rural communities alike. 

Improving our counter-drug efforts along this border first requires us to better organize our 
existing efforts, We need to improve our chain of command and accountability for programs in 
this region. Our Southwest Border programs must also become more flexible and intelligence- 
driven. We need to better understand the emerging threats and deploy our resources to counter 
these threats. 

We also must shift from a system that is dependent upon manpower to one that relies on cutting- 
edge technology. We simply cannot think that in an era of expanding interchange that we will be 
able to unpack every crate of carrots or search every railcar by hand. We need to develop and 
deploy a family of complementary systems within the next five years that can inspect increasing 
numbers of in-bound containers, shipments, a-nd conveyances for drugs. We want to provide 
major ports of entry with the capacity to subject in-bound shipments to non-intrusive inspections 


'^’On the demand-side, CTAC technology development efforts are also at the forefront of 
efforts to better understand the disease of addiction and to develop cures for drug problems. 


38 



71 


by complementary systems. Through technology, we shall put in place a seamless curtain against 
drugs. This curtain will not be iron but information — derived from technology and intelligence. 
It will be held in place by good organization and shared commitment - a commitment based on 
common values and interests. It will be permeable to trade and culture but impermeable to 
drugs, crime, and violence. 

9. Attacking Drugs in the Transit Zone 

Transit zone interdiction plays a critical supporting role to source county programs. Transit zone 
interdiction programs remove significant amounts of illicit drugs from the pipeline each year 
that would otherwise reach the United States. These efforts also raise the costs and nsks to 
traffickers of moving cocaine into the United States. Additionally, interdiction operations in the 
transit zone produce information that can be used to attack trafficking organizations, thereby 
strengthening the overall U.S. law enforcement effort against international crime. Transit zone 
interdiction programs reinforce international, bilateral, and regional cooperation against the 
threat of illegal drugs and strengthen the capabilities of transit nation law enforcement 
institutions. 

Drug traffickers are adaptable, reacting to interdiction successes by shifting routes and changing 
modes of transportation. Large international criminal organizations have extensive access to 
sophisticated technology and resources to support their illegal operations. The United States 
must surpass traffickers’ flexibility, quickly deploying resources to changing high-threat areas. 
Consequently, the U.S. government designs coordinated interdiction operations that anticipate 
shifting trafficking patterns. 

Drugs coming to the United States from South America pass through a six-million square-mile 
transit zone that is roughly the size of the continental United States. This zone includes the 
Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and eastern Pacific Ocean. The Coast Guard is the lead federal 
agency for maritime interdiction and co-lead with U.S. Customs for air interdiction. The 
interagency mission is to reduce the supply of drugs from source countries by denying smugglers 
the use of air and maritime routes in the transit zone. In patrolling this va.st area, U.S. federal 
agencies closely coordinate their operations with the interdiction forces of a number of nations. 

In 1 998, roughly eighty metric tons of cocaine were seized in the transit zone, 

Stopping drugs in the transit zone involves more than intercepting drug shipments at sea or in the 
air. It also entails denying traffickers safe haven in countries within the transit zone and 
preventing their ability to corrupt institutions or use financial systems to launder profits. 
Consequently, international cooperation and assistance is an essential aspect of a comprehensive 
transit zone strategy. Accordingly, the United States is helping Caribbean and Central American 
nations to implement a broad drug-control agenda that includes modernizing laws, strengthening 
law-enforcement and judicial institutions, developing anti-cormption measures, opposing money 
laundering, and backing cooperative interdiction. 


39 



72 


The Caribbean Violent Crime and Regional Interdiction Initiative will expand counter-drug 
operations targeting drug trafficking-related criminal activities and violence in the Caribbear, 
region including South Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the independent states 
and territories of the eastern Caribbean. This initiative will implement mutual cooperative 
security agreements between the United States and Caribbean nations, implement commitments 
made by the U.S. President during the Caribbean Summit held in Barbados in May 1997, 
develop regional maritime law enforcement capabilities; increase the capability of Caribbean 
nations to intercept, apprehend, and prosecute drug traffickers through modest expansion of 
training, equipment upgrades and maintenance support, and institutionalize the Americas 
Counter Smuggling Initiative (ACSI) to provide at-risk commercial carriers, industry, and 
government offices with training to prevent goods and conveyances from being used to smuggle 
illegal dnigs- 

Nonstheless, traffickers have demonstrated that they can absorb interdiction losses in the transit 
zone as the cost of doing business while increasing source country cultivation and production to 
make up interdiction losses. In the transit zone, traffickers have the initiative and can choose 
when, where, and how to challenge interdiction forces. They are able to alter routes and methods 
in response to effective law enforcement interdiction activity. Transit zone operations will be 
most effective when source country programs are able to effectively constrain drug production 
potential, preventing trafficking organizations from making up interdiction losses. 

10. Building International Cooperation 

The United States continues to focus international drug control efforts on supporting the critical 
work of drug source countries. International drug trafficking organizations and their production 
and trafficking infrastructure are most concentrated, detectable, and vulnerable to effective law 
enforcement action in source countries. The coca and opium poppy growing areas are easily 
detectable and relatively fixed. The cultivation of coca and opium poppy and production of 
cocaine and heroin are labor intensive and car. be disrupted by concerted law enforcement action. 


To be successful on the scale necessary to disrupt the illegal drug industry, drug source countries 
must have control of growing areas, adequate law enforcement resources, capabilities, and the 
will to confront a sometimes politically powerful segment of the population or one that is 
protected by well-armed and well-equipped insurgent groups. The international drug control 
strategy seeks to bolster source country resources, capabilities, and political will to reduce 
cultivation, attack production, and disrupt and dismantle trafficking organizations, including their 
command and control stracture and financial underpinnings. Our actions focus on assisting the 
host nation expand law aiforcement control over drug crop growing areas, reestablish the rule of 
law, and eliminate illegal drug crops in ways that protect human and democratic rights. The 
political will and long-term commitment of these other nations are critical to our common 
success against drugs. 


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81 


General McCaffrey. Some quick comments if I may, Mr. Chair- 
man. 

To what extent is there a drug legalization movement in the 
United States? If you try to overtly move that argument forward, 
it is very difficult to do. There are probably around 400 groups in 
America that we can identify, sort of a superficial Lexis-Nexis 
check, that are advancing that argument. 

To put that in context, we have brought together 47 national 
civic, service, fraternal, veteran's and women's organizations in 
something we call Prevention of Drug Abuse Through Service. That 
represents 100 million people and a million chapters. Those are 
people, American citizens, who have stated publicly that we are op- 
posed to drug abuse. There are 121,000 local Boy Scout units, 4,000 
plus community antidrug coalitions, 2,300 local YMCA chapters, et 
cetera. Though I would argue, if you look out at America, the 270 
million of us, there is unanimous opposition to the notion of mak- 
ing these drugs more available to our children. 

The second thought I would table for you is we should make peo- 
ple stand upon their written record. If you write a book, if you 
write an article, if you give a speech and advance an argument in 
favor of drug legalization, you should not be allowed later to move 
to a disguis^ position. I have provided previously to the committee 
excerpts from some of the books and writings that I think make 
this point. 

Ethan Nadelmann said, "personally when I talk about legaliza- 
tion, I mean three things. The first is to make drugs such as mari- 
juana, cocaine and heroin legal. I propose a mail order distribution 
system based on the right of access." 

Professor Arnold Trebach out at American University: "under the 
legalization plan I propose here, addicts would be able to purchase 
the heroin and needles they need at reasonable prices from a non- 
medical drugstore." 

Now, we have been culling this kind of material out. We ought 
to be civil, we ought to be charitable and have democratic debate, 
but some of these notions are sheer buffoonery. They are from an 
ivory tower. They are not informed on the kind of problem that I 
see at face value, in prisons in America, in drug treatment centers, 
in families and in the workplace. I think we need to strip away the 
disguise and label people with the arguments they are actually try- 
ing to support. 

I believe the American people support our strategy against drugs. 
According to the 1999 Gallup poll 69 percent firmly oppose any le- 
galization of marijuana. The 1998 Family Research Council poll, in- 
dicated that 82 percent oppose making drugs legal like alcohol. 

I think we also have some examples where we can look around 
the world. We can look at the Dutch example. The European Mon- 
itoring Centre notes that heroin addiction has tripled since the 
Dutch liberalized their policy. Holland is now a synthetic drug pro- 
duction center. 

Our own experience in the United States in the 1800's when 
legal opium use was available, we had our own use rates jump 400 
percent. 

I think we also should take into account that drug abuse is not 
just a personal choice. It involves other people. We look at child 



82 


abuse and neglect and other innocent victims. We find that sub- 
stance abuse exacerbates 7 of 10 child abuse and neglect cases. We 
look at workplace accidents. We believe that a third of the indus- 
trial accidents in America are caused by illegal drug use. We look 
at drunk driving and find the enormous correlation between the 
use of illegal drugs and alcohol in fatal accidents on the Nation's 
highways. 

The bottom line is we are absolutely opposed to the legalization 
of these substances or their de facto legalization under the notion 
of harm reduction. It is really unfortunate that they have captured 
that term. I would like to introduce Bridgette Grant, a senior at 
George Mason University— thanks for being here— she is one of our 
interns and will help me with these charts. 

If you look at our National Drug Control Strategy and what we 
are trying to accomplish, goals two and three are, in fact, a harm 
reduction approach. We recognize that 4 million plus chronically 
addicted Americans are killing 14,000 people a year and causing 
$110 billion of damages. Smart law enforcement and smart drug 
treatment have to deal with that huge number of Americans, a tiny 
percentage of the population. Unfortunately the harm reduction 
label has been hijacked by people that in many cases are actually 
talking about the legalization of drugs. 

I also have to underscore, our strategy does say you can't hope 
for a magic solution on drug abuse. Clearly, our dominant objective 
is prevention, education aimed at American adolescents. We are 
trying to get kids from the age of 9 through about 19 where we 
minimize their exposure to gateway drug-taking behavior. That 
certainly includes alcohol and cigarettes. Primarily it is marijuana 
and huffing inhalants and heroin and almost any drug you can 
name— Ecstasy and MDMA are now spreading up and down the 
eastern seaboard. 

Bridgette, if you will, the next chart. 

A quick chart, what are the consequences? Is this an individual 
choice? Can we buy a libertarian model or should we be forced to 
recognize even though drug abuse in America has come down dra- 
matically in the last 15 years, if you look at 1979, 14 percent of 
the population was using drugs. In 1992 it dropped to 6 percent. 
We are going to try and take it below 3 percent. But that has noth- 
ing to do with the fact that we have 4 million Americans who are 
sicker than ever committing enormous amounts of crime and they 
dominate the population behind bars, 1.8 million Americans and 
growing; and probably between 50 and 80 percent of those people 
have a chronic drug or alcohol problem. 

That is the cost to you and I. This is not an individual choice. 
This involves our workplaces, our children, and our communities. 

Bridgette, next chart. 

Let me, if I may, underscore this chart. There has been a notion 
of hard drugs and soft drugs. We understand that heroin, 
methamphetamines, and crack cocaine have consequences that are 
more severe than the softer drugs of MDMA, marijuana, et cetera. 

I think the strongest voice I listen to inside the administration 
is Donna Shalala, who is essentially a teacher, a college professor, 
a university president. We are adamantly opposed to the use of 



83 


marijuana in America, whether that is on the Nation's highways 
or, more importantly, among our students and our families. 

When you look at some of the behavior that Dr. Leshner can 
speak to, where you find high rates of marijuana abuse, you find 
enormous statistical correlations to other behavioral problems, one 
of which is violence. It is not just crashing your car or an 18-wheel - 
er. It is also personal aggressive behavior. 

We are not suggesting we have demonstrated a causal linkage. 
I am just saying that is there. If your child is involved in a lot of 
drug abuse, including marijuana, it will probably also have beer in- 
volved. You have problems. Part of it is aggressive behavior. 

Next chart, please. You have seen this chart before, but it de- 
serves to be restated. 

We believe, and this chart comes out of the University of Michi- 
gan data, but it underscores a notion that attitudes drive behavior. 
When youth attitudes about drug abuse change, when they worsen, 
when they see it as less threatening, more acceptable; they use 
more drugs. When they turn those attitudes around, drug abuse 
goes down. That is why we are so grateful for the bipartisan sup- 
port we have gotten on this National Youth Anti-Drug Media Cam- 
paign. 

We believe you have to talk to children, not just over TV, the 
Internet, and the radio. It has to be parents, educators, coaches, 
pediatricians, and local law enforcement. 

We are seeing the initial stages of turning youth attitudes 
around in America. For 5 years, it went in the wrong direction. In 
the last 2 years, we have seen it stabilize and then modest but sta- 
tistically significant reductions in drug abuse in America concern- 
ing 8th grade, 10th grade, 12th grade, with cigarettes, alcohol, 
marijuana and other drugs. We have 10 years of hard work ahead 
of us if we are going to capitalize on this beginning effort. 

Next chart. We have been playing around with this chart to 
make a point. 

Take 1991 as a baseline year; 1991 was the year before actual 
youth rates of drug abuse started up. We had a long period where 
it came down from the disaster in the 1970's. Attitudes started 
changing in probably 1990, fear of drug use in 1991. In 1992, drug 
use rates went up. So I took 1991 as a baseline year. Those are in- 
creases or decreases in a given year. The last 2 years, we have the 
beginning indications that when America's communities and fami- 
lies and ^ucators get involved, we actually can talk to our children 
and turn the situation around. But I would not even indicate this 
is the beginning of a victory. It just indicates that our hard work 
can pay off. 

Next chart. 

I am not going to go through this in much detail, but it is just 
astonishing what is on the Internet. It is unbelievable. When we 
tried to name one of our initial home pages Project Know, K-n-o- 
w, I had initially asked for Project Teen. When we went to that key 
word on the net, you get masses of child pornography. When you 
fed in drug search words— marijuana, heroin, et cetera— you ended 
up on drug legalization sites. They are linked together. It is incred- 
ible. 



84 


The High Times home page. They are selling drugs over the 
Internet. They are selling doping materials for young athletes over 
the Internet, and they are providing credibility and an argument 
that these materials don't cause physical harm. 

We are going to try and counter that, but you need to understand 
that it is out there, and it is incredible, the material that many 
parents aren't aware their children see and encounter in the com- 
puter they have in their room or basement. 

Next chart. 

We are now out there confronting that issue. We have done some 
incredibly good work on this. I have two very sophisticated firms, 
Ogilyy Mather and Fleishman Hillard, that are helping guide our 
media buying campaign, but when it comes to the Internet itself, 
we have provided you all of our linked home pages. I just tell you 
we are up to almost a quarter of a million hits on our White House 
Drug Site. Disney is running Freevibe.com. Just since March- 
many of you were there when we opened that— they are pushing 
a million hits. We are almost up to 5 million visits on Project 
Know; we are up to a quarter of a million on the Drug Resource 
Center, America Online, just since the beginning of April. 

We are also influencing all the search engines and webpages. If 
you punch in on Yahoo, Warner Brothers, AOL, et cetera, key 
words, you will end up getting scientifically, medically accurate in- 
formation that is in color, that is interactive. If you are a mother, 
you can go to Drug Help AOL. If you are a teen, you can go to 
Freevibe.com. You can see pictures of this material, you can talk 
to personalities, public people, movie stars, about why drug abuse 
is harmful to your future. 

We think we are starting to move ahead, and we welcome your 
own involvement in that. 

Mr. Chairman, if I may, let me just end my formal comments 
there, but I thank you and your committee members for your lead- 
ership in bringing this issue to the attention of the American peo- 
ple. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. General. 

Mr. Mica. I would like to start off with a couple of questions, if 
I may. 

First of all. General, I have a bibliography here of more than 200 
scientific studies indicating the extraordinary damage that is done 
to the human body and the brain by marijuana, probably from 
some of the most renowned scientific minds in the world. The find- 
ings they come up with are absolutely uncontestable, that THC and 
marijuana damage the brain, the lungs, the heart, and the repro- 
ductive and immune systems. They also show that marijuana is 
linked to increased aggressive and violent behavior. 

In view of these findings, why do you believe there is still a fic- 
tion that is prevalent out there particularly among our kids that 
taking drugs is fine and safe, that use of marijuana is not dan- 
gerous or harmful? 

General McCaffrey. Dr. Leshner will probably want to talk to 
the medical issues. I am normally trying to be careful on how I 
pose this. 

What we are sure of is that if your 12 year old adolescent is 
using marijuana on weekends, they are probably in a period of 



85 


enormous vulnerability, central nervous system development, social 
development, and educational development. If they get involved in 
that behavior younger, and they do a lot of it, the chances of them 
being in trouble are significantly enhanced. 

You can argue about what the stats are. The statistic I use is 
that at age 12, if you are smoking pot on weekends, you are 80 
times more likely to end up using cocaine than some 12-year-old 
who isn't smoking pot. Dr. Leshner in the years to come possibly 
will document that 15 percent of that population in the high school 
years will end up dependent upon marijuana if they use a lot of 
It. That figure is soft. 

Now, to a high school kid, this might sound like pretty good odds. 
To your mother or the coach, it sounds like dreadful odds— 15 per- 
cent chance of being in serious, possibly lifelong, trouble. It is a 
complicated challenge. 

A third of adult Americans have used an ill^al drug. It is age 
dependent. There are some demographics tied into it. The lowest 
rates of drug abuse in American society are African Americans 
under the age of 30. But depending on your year, group, and col- 
lege yes/no, the chances are you smoked a joint. Thirty million 
Americans have been exposed to cocaine. They have stopped it. 
They don't want to do it. But now they are trying to sort out in 
their own mind what they tell their kids. 

We have been remiss in not explicitly telling our children that, 
regardless of mother's and my background, in this family we are 
not going to drive drunk, smoke dope, or use inhalants. These are 
behaviors that we have learned are destructive to your future. I 
think the message has been too weak. That is the answer, Mr. 
Chairman. 

Mr. Mica. You have described in the past, when you were speak- 
ing about medical marijuana, I think the term you used, you called 
it "a stalking horse for legalization." General, many of those who 
are trying to promote legalization have started with promoting the 
medical use of marijuana. Can you tell me how your office has tried 
to deal with that issue? 

Also, we have a problem that we have lost in many of the States 
where this issue is on the ballot. Tell me, you have said this is "the 
stalking horse for legalization," and I think you have just defined 
this as a serious drug problem. What has been done by the ONDCP 
to deal with this situation? 

General McCaffrey. Three years ago, I consulted with the peo- 
ple who I think know what they are talking about— Dr. Leshner, 
Dr. Harold Varmus, Dr. Nelba Chavez— the folks who have devoted 
their lives to a study of drug addiction. We came to a conclusion 
that we were getting to be honest, rolled in the public arena by 
some very clever people who were hiding behind medical use of ille- 
gal drugs and were actually pushing a drug legalization agenda. 

But if there is one thing I know about and respect, it is American 
medicine. I have spent more time in hospitals as a patient than 
most young doctors have worked there. We have great trust in 
American medicine and in the process under the NIH and the FDA 
by which we make medicines available as clinically safe and effec- 
tive. We trust doctors. We give them morphine. We give them heart 
medicines that can kill you. 



86 


So what we did is, we said, let's go out and we hired the Amer- 
ican Academy of Sciences, gave them $800,000 for a study to re- 
view what we know and do not know about smoked marijuana. We 
have a document that is done by serious people that we can stand 
behind. That document says smoked marijuana ain't medicine. It 
is a carcinogenic delivery vehicle, it is unknown dose rates, it is 
400 plus compounds, it is 30 plus cannabinoids. It won't be medi- 
cine. It has a potential modest contribution to some symptom man- 
agement. It has no curative impact at all. 

It also went on to say, why don't you go research more of the 
cannabinoids? There is one right now, THC, available in a phar- 
macy. Maybe others could have benefit, particularly in combination 
with other therapies. From a policy perspective, I support such a 
research approach. 

Finally, it said, you need a rapid onset delivery vehicle. We will 
go ahead and support that notion. That means deep lung inhalants, 
nasal gels, skin patches or suppositories. But what we have to do 
is keep that issue with doctors and scientists and not let it become 
a political issue. 

We have a problem. Five States, as I remember, and possibly the 
District of Columbia through some very clever investment of adver- 
tising dollars, have now passed some form of medical marijuana 
initiative, and it is State law. We are trying to confront that in a 
prudent manner, to take into account the State-Federal sensitivi- 
ties. 

These drugs are still not certified for medical prescription. It is 
illegal under Federal law to grow, produce or sell marijuana, and 
we will uphold the law. 

Mr. Mica. Two final questions, and I want to give my other col- 
leagues ample opportunity for questions. 

First of all, has your agency researched whether the Federal 
Government can preempt efforts to make drugs such as marijuana 
and their medical use illegal in the States? That is the first ques- 
tion. 

Second, you spoke to money coming into these referendums. We 
have some documentation that Mr. Soros, George Soros, a multi- 
millionaire— incidentally, I invited him to testify today and will in- 
vite him back because we are interested to find out his motivation 
and what is going on here— he created the L indesmith Center and 
funded it with $4 million. Fie has also given $6.4 million, we be- 
lieve, to the Drug Policy Foundation, a legal advocacy group for 
medical marijuana. 

Two questions again. One, can we preempt State efforts? The 
second part of the question: Flere is one individual. I am not sure 
what his end game is. Maybe you have some insight as to the moti- 
vation for his money and where this money is coming from to pro- 
mote these initiatives and pass them? Those are my two final ques- 
tions. 

General McCaffrey. Mr. Chairman, I would ask for your per- 
mission to give you a written answer on the legal political notion 
of preempting States. 

Let me tell you the answer as I understand it. These statutes 
were deemed to not be in conflict with Federal law; and so the up- 
front answer is, it is still against Federal law to grow marijuana. 



87 


possess it, sell it or write a prescription for medical purposes. It is 
against the law. We will uphold the law. 

Having said that, there are 7,000 DEA agents, a couple of thou- 
sand staff, they are in 40 nations on the face of the Earth. Crimi- 
nal justice is a State responsibility almost across the board. We 
have a problem here. We are going to have to sort it out. The lead 
of solving the problem has to be the people of California, Oregon, 
the State of Washington, Arizona, Hawaii, et cetera. 

I would be glad to provide you perhaps a more definitive legal 
argument, but there is no conflict with Federal law, and we will 
enforce F^eral law. 

The motivation of people behind these efforts, I think there is 
probably a range of behaviors. Some of them are patently personal, 
using drugs and trying to advance their own use. I think that is 
probably not the motivation for many of them. A couple of them 
have intellectually goofy positions. 

Professor Trebach at American University, and I don't mean to 
be uncharitable, but I don't think he has thought through the argu- 
ment that he is hoping to see a return of opium dens in America 
and to contrast that with the evil of the bar, the saloon. 

I think there is a great sadness on the part of many of us in 
America about this small percentage of the population, the huge 
consequences we pay. Congressman Hutchinson talked about, if 
you have a family member that is abusing drugs, is this a war? 

One of my best friends and his wife, whom I believe you know, 
a very senior military officer, his 21-year-old baby is now sitting in 
a wheelchair with permanent short-term and long-term cognitive 
impairment, with massive muscle loss in the right arm and right 
leg because he overdosed on Mexican black tar heroin and was in 
a coma for 42 days. This has devastated the family. 

When we announced our last pulse check in an emergency room 
in a New York City hospital and got these beautiful physicians to 
talk about what they see in drug abuse in America, and it is abso- 
lutely ugly, I don't think Mr. Soros and some of these other people 
have seen that, and I don't think they appreciate the consequences. 
They are hopeful from an elitist standpoint that maybe it is some 
lower class kind of person that is involved in this behavior, not my 
family, not my community. If you just legalized it, it would all go 
away. 

As we have tried to advance in that paper that Rob Housman 
and Pancho Kinney from my strategic planning shop wrote, noth- 
ing could be farther from the truth. The problem with drugs isn't 
that they are illegal. They are destructive of the human body, of 
brain function, and of spirituality. That is the problem with drugs. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. 

I would like to yield now to our ranking member, M rs. Mink. 

Mrs. Mink. I thank you. 

There is hardly a word. General McCaffrey, that you have stated 
today that I don't agree with totally. Unfortunately, however, we 
are faced with this nagging debate about marijuana. I don't think 
there is any argument about any of the other drugs with reference 
to legalization. At least I haven't heard it in any of the constituent 
groups in my own State that are talking about legalization. It is 
primarily concentrated in this area of marijuana. 



88 


I think one of the important areas that we have to examine is 
the effect of marijuana on the human brain, bodiiy functions on aii 
the other aspects of being a totai person. And untii we do that, 
untii the scientific research comes up with that specific, unequivo- 
cai statement about the damage that a person can suffer as a re- 
suit of the use of marijuana, we are going to have this continuing 
debate. 

There is absoiuteiy no doubt that those who use marijuana are 
iikeiy to go on to other drugs, but that is a different issue. We can 
certainiy point that out to young peopie who are tempted by mari- 
juana, that this is a dangerous road because it ieads to other addic- 
tions. We can certainiy taik about the criminai impiications that 
come from the use of marijuana. 

And aii of that shouid miiitate against a society that toierates 
the use of marijuana. But untii we can get this definitive study 
with respect to the use of marijuana and the harm that comes from 
that in terms of being a fuiiy cognizant, sociai, inteiiigent human 
being with totai brain capacity, i think that we are chaiienged; and 
i wouid iike to hear your comments about that. Because that is the 
oniy eiement that i feei is missing in the debate in which i find 
myseif having to endure in many, many piaces in my own constitu- 
ency. 

Generai McCaffrey, i think your comments are right on the 
money. Most peopie are not fooiish enough to taik about why they 
want methamphetamines in a 7-Eieven store near them, aithough 
there are many that actuaiiy are advancing that argument, i think 
that is the argument of the L indesmith Center. 

Having said that, to go directiy to your point, i think Dr. Leshner 
and others can taik to the issue of what we know about smoked 
marijuana and its impact on a human being. Not just from its im- 
pact on brain function, but what we see as the consequences of ex- 
tensive use of marijuana, particuiariy among adoiescents. We do 
know quite a bit about it. 

The other thing i wouid argue is that, overwheimingiy, parents 
and educators get the point. When you ask them in an abstract 
sense about marijuana, you may get one answer. But when you ask 
about your daughter, your son, your empioyees, do you personaiiy, 
do you think marijuana smoking is incons^uentiai, the answer is 
quite different. Americans don't support the iegaiization of mari- 
juana. 

A finai notion, if i may. Congresswoman. Two peopie that have 
heiped form my own thinking, one of them is Dr. David Smith in 
the Haight-Ashbury FreeCiinic in San Francisco. What a beautifui 
man. What an incredibie organization they have put together, ini- 
tiaiiy to deai with the wreckage of the drug revoiution of the 1970's 
in San Francisco, i mean human wreckage. And now it is very weii 
organized, and it is continuing. 

if you asked Dr. David Smith with his iifeiong invoivement— past 
president of the American Society of Addictive Medicine— what 
about pot? is it OK? He wiii answer, "are you nuts?" We get 300 
kids a month off the streets of San Francisco, and their drug prob- 
iem is pot. 

Now, Dr. Mitch Rosenthai, Phoenix House, one of the biggest, 
best-organized drug treatment centers in the country, this is the 



89 


Cadillac of drug treatment, a lot of it publicly funded. Go out to his 
center in California, the Youth Drug Treatment Center, and those 
kids are in there for marijuana and alcohol. It is polydrug abuse, 
but primarily it is pot. 

I tell people, if you have this shiny young kid, he or she is 12, 
13, 14, they are playing sports, they are pleasant to be around, you 
admire their friends, and then a year later they are acting in a 
weird, irresponsible manner, their grades are dropping, they are 
not playing sports, they are alienated from the family, don't wonder 
what is going on. The problem is drugs, and that means marijuana 
and beer. That is what you are watching in action. 

I am sympathetic to the argument, but I think if you are a teach- 
er, if you are a mother, we have to stand against marijuana use 
by youngsters in particular. 

Mrs. Mink. Thank you. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentlelady. 

I yield now to the gentleman from Arkansas, Mr. Hutchinson, for 
questions. 

Mr. Hutchinson. I thank the chairman. 

General McCaffrey, I want to go back to the questions I raised 
in my opening comments. 

First of all, in reference to the media campaign fund that has 
been provided by Congress to you, are any of those funds targeted 
in States considering legalization of marijuana? And do you see any 
legal problems with having a specific message in those States urg- 
ing citizens to oppose that legalization effort? 

General McCaffrey. That media campaign. Congressman, we 
are enormously proud of it. We are into year two. I think we know 
what we are doing. We have a real professional group running it 
for us now. They do this for a living, Ogiivy Mather. It is no longer 
five of my people at 2 o'clock in the morning. These folks are but- 
tressed by Dr. Alan Leshner who is running my evaluation compo- 
nent: Is this going to work? Yes or no. Show me the data. He has 
got Westech Corp. following it. 

We have hired other outside critics, a behavioral science expert 
panel, people like those from the Annenberg School of j ournalism. 
Partnership for a Drug-Free America and ONDCP have put to- 
gether this program that by the end of the summer we will be in 
11 foreign languages and English. We will have 102 different 
media strategies around this country. So whoever you are, in the 
drug environment in this region, we are talking to your children 
and the adult mentors. 

It isn't much money, surprisingly. It was less than 1 percent of 
the Federal counterdrug budget. It was $185 million last year. I 
have negotiated a 108 percent media match. But that is modest 
money compared to alcohol and cigarettes, $2 billion, and $5 bil- 
lion, respectively. 

I am getting to your question. I apologize for the context. 

Mr. Hutchinson. I do have some more questions. 

General McCaffrey. The bottom line is, we have that $185 mil- 
lion targeted on confronting drug use by youngsters and their adult 
mentors' attitudes. 

Mr. Hutchinson. The answer is no? 



90 


General McCaffrey. The answer is absolutely not. We are not 
going after this very important issue nor are we going to try and 
confront underage drinking. 

Mr. Hutchinson. Do you see any legal problem in doing that or 
is that just a judgment call on your part? 

General McCaffrey. I think it is a legal problem, but also the 
funds wouldn't be there to take on a political State issue to go after 
proposition 200 in Arizona or 215 in California. 

Mr. Hutchinson. If there was some specific authorization by 
Congress to allow those funds to be used in that effort, would that 
overcome the legal problem you are concerned about? 

General McCaffrey. I would think it would be harmful to this 
effort. 

Mr. Hutchinson. I asked about the legal problem. I know you 
disagree from a policy standpoint. 

General McCaffrey. Of course. Congress could write the law 
any way they wanted. I would probably argue that we are making 
a tremendous impact on the American people about the legalization 
issue without directly confronting it. We are talking about pot 
smoking and their kids. 

Mr. Hutchinson. You are not using any of the campaign funds 
for targeted States? 

General McCaffrey. We don't go after proposition 200 or the 
D.C. Campaign. 

Mr. Hutchinson. Have you personally been into any of the 
States that are considering these legalization efforts to hold news 
conferences using the influence of your office to oppose them? 

General McCaffrey. I have been almost everywhere in this 
country and have directly confronted that issue in op-eds, radio 
interviews, and TV. I have been on 3,000 TV interviews, 7,000 
news articles, and have directly confronted these issues with some 
impact. 

j anet Reno, of course, obviously stands with me, as does Dick 
Riley and Donna Shalala. The four of us are the heart and soul of 
this effort. 

Mr. Hutchinson. I congratulate you on that. I would encourage 
you to continue doing that. I would like to see, as these issues heat 
up, you, Donna Shalala, the Attorney General j anet Reno, and the 
President of the United States going into those States and saying 
this is bad for the country. I n my judgment that is the kind of lead- 
ership we need on these issues. 

We certainly see every night on the news the power of this Presi- 
dency when it comes to media. And you and I can go into those 
States, we can hold news conferences, and we will not have the im- 
pact as the top official. I hope that you will be urging the Presi- 
dent, the Vice President, and other officials to go in and really 
make it an initiative to make the message clear that legalization 
of marijuana is not the direction that we need to go. 

A final question, on your media campaign, I think you said that 
some of your ads are specifically directed to marijuana, is that cor- 
rect? 

General McCaffrey. Absolutely. In the next generation of ads 
you will see starting in the fall, we have focused in on that prob- 
lem. We had very little material when we started this. 



91 


Mr. Hutchinson. You have some of that focus on marijuana. Do 
you have some of that focus on crank, for example, and other 
drugs? 

General McCaffrey. Yes. 

Mr. Hutchinson. And do you have separate ads for alcohol and 
tobacco? 

General McCaffrey. There are approximaely 20 ads playing ap- 
proximately 7,000 times that are in the matching component we 
have now shown and that have been vetted through the Behavioral 
Science Council and the Advertising Council of America. So there 
is an anti-alcohol youth drinking in the nonpaid component. 

I would welcome the chance to provide any of you an overview 
of how we are developing that campaign. It is very complicated, 
and we think it is starting to work. 

Mr. Hutchinson. I very well might take advantage of that. I 
would welcome that opportunity. 

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentleman. 

I now recognize the gentleman from Maryland. 

Mr. Cummings. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

General, let me ask you something. We have spent a lot of time 
hereon marijuana. Let's talk about cigarettes. I think I have heard 
you talk about how so many of our children become involved in 
drugs and cigarettes. It sort of starts at cigarettes. Is that still ac- 
curate? I nitially? 

General McCaffrey. I think it is probably correct to say that 
cigarette smoking is almost a precursor to marijuana smoking. It 
is not always the case, but generally it is rare to see somebody 
smoking pot or, for that matter, if you go to a drug treatment cen- 
ter to find somebody that didn't start smoking as an adolescent. 

Mr. Cummings. In answering Mr. Hutchinson's question, you 
said that there was— I forgot your exact words, but there is a piece 
of your ad campaign that goes to cigarettes, is that what you said? 

General McCaffrey. No. Some of the matching component is au- 
thorized to address the cigarette issue. What I have done is, I had 
a meeting with the Attorneys General of the States. They have a 
committee that is trying to put together their cigarette policy. I in- 
tend to support their work with our research. But there will be a 
different research strategy, a different way they go about that 
issue, since it is a legal product for those 18 and older. But we will 
be supporting that huge amount of money going to anti-cigarette 
advertising. 

There is a lot of material out there. California, Florida and other 
States already know a lot about it. 

Mr. Cummings. It just seems to me that if we are going to spend 
this time today talking about marijuana and when we consider 
what you just said, that is, there seems to be a correlation in many 
instances between cigarette smoking and marijuana, it just seems 
to me that would be something that we would want to take a look 
at. 

Again, it goes back to the hide-and-go-seek theory. The question 
is, what are we doing about it? I think we have made some great 
strides with all these settlements. So I take it that States like 
Maryland, are now trying to come up with strategies as to how to 



92 


use that money to prevent our children from smoking. You are say- 
ing that your office is collaborating when asked? 

General McCaffrey. We are going to be supportive of these 
States with their programs. There is a lot of material out there 
they can build on. 

Mr. Cummings. I don't want anybody in this room to be mis- 
taken. I think you are doing a great job. I have felt that way all 
along. I think you have a very difficult job, a very challenging one. 

We disagree on a few things. I think one of them may be this 
whole thing of methadone. When I talk to people and the former 
drug addicts who are recovering, living productive lives, when I 
talk to them about methadone, these people are averaging 12 years 
of nondrug use. They understand the argument that by using 
methadone a person can continue to be productive, and they under- 
stand all of that. But they still feel that it is like trading one drug 
for another drug and that the person is still addicted. I am just 
wondering, where are we on that? Where are you right now on that 
issue? 

General McCaffrey. We are fortunate. We have a brilliant man. 
Dr. Wesley Clark, one of the smartest people I have run into in 
government, a lifelong psychiatrist, drug researcher, practitioner. 
He is Secretary Shalala's architect to relook at the methadone, 
LAMM and other therapeutic tools program. What we are moving 
toward is what evidence-based medicine has produced before, 
credentialed the medical drug treatment establishment to use it. 

I share your uneasiness. Badly run methadone programs, the 
kind that Mayor Giuliani railed against in New York, are a night- 
mare. You shouldn't have people knock on a door that says metha- 
done, walk through and get it. You ought to have heroin addicts— 
there are 810,000 of us Americans who are using heroin. Sooner or 
later you are going to be in despair. We need to reach out and put 
you in treatment, and you ought to be diagnosed. 

There ought to be a triage system. We ought to use an array of 
tools which include psychotherapeutic communities, social interven- 
tions and, in some cases, methadone or LAMM. If you are a 35- 
year-old, male street prostitute, you are HIV positive, you have tu- 
berculosis leg sores, you have been unemployed for a decade, you 
are living under a bridge, we have to get you into treatment. Part 
of that treatment program probably ought to include a methadone 
component. 

Now, our purpose ought to be to move you along a path of treat- 
ment and to end up with you employed, back with your family and 
treating, not just the addiction, but treating your other diagnoses: 
You are malnourished; you are HIV positive. 

So I think methadone and LAMM do have a place in that inven- 
tory, but it ought to be part of a package of interventions. 

Mr. Cummings. Mr. Chairman, I just have one more question. 

One of the things that I have seen in Baltimore, one of the rea- 
sons why numbers are so high for drug-addicted people, is that we 
have people who started off on heroin many years ago, and so they 
have been living with this thing. I know people who have been on 
heroin for 30 years. There was a time where I think people kind 
of looked at this population and said, well, you know, with crack 
cocaine and cocaine coming along, eventually this population would 



93 


die out. That sounds a bit morbid, but that is what they believed. 
Now, the word is that heroin is becoming, in certain places, attrac- 
tive again, or did it ever die down? I n other words, there have been 
some national reports, like on national news, that say heroin is 
cheaper and young people are more attracted to it. 

What is happening there? Because I would hate to see us move 
into a point where we have another 30 or 40 years of someone on 
a substance like heroin. 

General McCaffrey. The heroin addicts that have been on it for 
30 years are very clever people. There are very few stupid folks 
who are addicted. It is such a dangerous life. The chances of living 
beyond 10, 15 years with a severe drug abuse problem are modest. 
Alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, that is sort of the tip of the ice- 
berg, those that can go that long. 

There is more heroin abuse in our society than there was 10 
years ago. These numbers are so soft, I am nervous using them. I 
have a number I can document, under 300,000. Another number 
over 500,000. The number I am using is 810,000. I think that is 
how many Americans are using heroin. I think there is a new pop- 
ulation using it. There are lots of suburbanites, working class 
males. It is almost a new drug. Instead of 7 percent heroin, it is 
70 to 90 percent heroin. Mr. Marshall will talk about it. It is like 
China white, stick it up your nose, ingest it, smoke it. 

I am wearing a memory bracelet from a young white girl, fresh- 
man in college, dead on a respirator after 7 days smoking pure her- 
oin and crack cocaine. This drug— a young, 21-year-old boy that I 
have known since he was born, Mexican black tar heroin. 

The world is awash in it. We are confronting it, but Americans, 
we think, use 3 percent of the world's heroin. The difference is we 
pay $250 to $500 a day for it. We steal $60,000 a year in Baltimore 
to get it. And you can sell it in Pakistan for $5 a day. We have 
a huge problem. If we are not careful, we are going to see a resur- 
gence in heroin addiction which is very tough to deal with. 

Mr. Cummings. Thank you very much. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. I recognize now the gentleman from Cali- 
fornia, M r. Ose. 

Mr. Ose. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Good morning. General. I want to return to a subject you were 
talking about earlier. We had a subcommittee hearing with testi- 
mony in which there are State initiatives, referendums and the like 
being proposed to legalize different drugs, similar to California's 
where we legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. The question 
I have, basM on the testimony we took at this previous nearing, 
was that we have advertisments designed to address demand 
abatement, knowledge for the consumer. Are we putting those ad- 
vertising efforts into these States in direct competition to the 
prolegalization advertising that is going on with these initiatives 
and referenda? 

General McCaffrey. We are not targeting legislative initiatives 
in the State. No, absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I have been 
very careful— a lot of these State authorities are prohibited by law. 
The Lieutenant Governor of Washington, a person whom I admire 
enormously, was sued by a drug legalization group to confront his 



94 


efforts. He was correctly, I think, claiming that in his off-duty time 
he was confronting this State initiative. So we have to be a little 
careful about the political and legal issues. 

But to get to your point, every State in this country— we are now 
in 102 different media markets to confront drug abuse and its con- 
sequences among adolescents and their adult mentors. Yes, we are 
arguing against drug abuse in America. 

Mr. OsE. Let me make sure I understand, because this is the 
part that was confusing for me. Are you telling me that there are 
legal restrictions as to what the Federal Government can do to ad- 
vertise the medical consequences of drug abuse? 

General McCaffrey. Absolutely not. 

Mr. OsE. Then what is 

General McCaffrey. Not at all. 

Mr. OsE. In terms of a marketing strategy, if my competitor pro- 
poses, in a marketplace in which I am in, X and I happen to think 
anti-X 

General McCaffrey. Oh, medical consequences, excuse me. It is 
the way you are saying it. 

What we can talk about is that there are consequences, medical 
consequences, to abusing drugs. We have no restrictions at all on 
accurately and scientifically portraying why we are opposed to the 
use, never mind the abuse, of these drugs. We are doing that. 

What we wouldn't do is go head to head with a referendum in 
a State that tries to do something like say, let's do medical mari- 
juana for anemia. 

Mr. OsE. So the restriction deals with the specific reference to 
the initiative, not to 

General McCaffrey. To some political debate, right, over an ini- 
tiative. 

Mr. OsE. Cite for me a couple of the States— like California has 
adopted, Arizona has adopted. 

General McCaffrey. Washington, Hawaii, possibly the District 
of Columbia, Colorado. 

Mr. OsE. They have adopted it or it is pending? 

General McCaffrey. A bunch of these have passed. The first two 
States are California and Arizona that have passed some form of 
medical legalization of certain kinds of drugs. 

Mr. OsE. Are there any States where an initiative is pending for 
medical legalization 

General McCaffrey. I have a map that should be in your packet 
that shows you. I maintain a status watch by State of drug legal- 
ization initiatives, either under the guise of medical marijuana or 
industrial hemp. What we do about it depends upon the State and 
the situation. But we do have a map, you should have availability 
to it, and we try and track where we are on this issue. 

I write Governors. I just talked to the Mayors Conference. We 
talk to county executives. We talk to State legislators. We have a 
point of contact in every State by law, NASADAD coordinators. 

Mr. OsE. What I am trying to get to is, if there is someone in 
a State advertising a product and the product is something that is 
arguably harmful to the citizenry of the United States, why aren't 
we matching with our own marketing program, in a targeted fash- 



95 


ion, the information that would contradict or counterbalance that 
argument? 

General McCaffrey. I want to make sure I don't talk by you. 
The best answer I can give you is the drug legalization people don't 
have a fraction of the power that we have now brought to bear on 
this issue. 

I don't know how much money Soros— there are three or four 
people that have funded this whole effort. I doubt it was more than 
$15 million. 

So we are in the marketplace on the Internet, radio, TV, bill- 
boards, print media. We clearly are presenting a correct scientific 
argument on why you shouldn't use drugs. Fifty percent of that en- 
ergy is at adolescents, but another 50 percent of it is aimed at 
adult caregivers. So we are talking to America about this problem 
right now. 

Mr. OsE. Someone just brought me the map. Thank you for send- 
ing it up here. Recognizing on this map that we have no initiatives 
pending or in a large number of States, is there any logic to provid- 
ing a maintenance-type effort there and transferring funds that 
would otherwise go m those States and targeting them at States 
where— for instance, we have a signature petition under way in 
Florida, and we have legislation introduced in five other States 
here, targeting those States for the purpose of either defeating very 
cleverly, the petition drive or the legislation by informing the pub- 
lic? 

General McCaffrey. Let me again be explicit. We are not con- 
fronting State initiatives. We absolutely are not. If Americans want 
to debate whether heroin should be used as a painkiller, they are 
welcome to do that, to vote on it. Federal law is quite clear. 

What this media campaign is doing, it is trying to affect youth 
attitudes to reject the abuse of drugs. Nobody has got a drug legal- 
ization initiative on the table. Nobody is stupid enough to do that. 
You couldn't get it through anywhere in America. You have to go 
an indirect route of medical pot or hemp industrialization. That is 
a different issue that we ought to argue on medical scientific 
grounds. 

We are talking to America's children and their adult mentors 
about drug abuse, and we are swamping any drug legalization mes- 
sage in that effort. Nobody is out there competing now like we are. 
This is a 2-year, 5-year, 10-year effort to talk to America's children. 
It will work. It will affect youth attitudes. 

Mr. OsE. I am confident of that. It seems that if whoever these 
individuals are who are funding this, if they take their money to 
Florida and target it on Florida, we ought to send the clear and un- 
equivocal message, you go there, we're coming there, too; and we're 
going to make you waste your money because we're going to bring 
the resources of the Federal Government and its educational pro- 
gram to bear and put it up on the TV opposite your stuff and give 
people the countervailing view. 

General McCaffrey. That is not what we are doing, though. We 
are absolutely not confronting medical drug issues head to head. 
We are not doing that. We are talking to young people about why 
these drugs are harmful to their social, intellectual, moral develop- 
ment. 



96 


I am normally not too hard to follow. We are not confronting po- 
litical initiatives by State. The legal authority isn't there. That is 
not what I am doing with this money. We are going after youth at- 
titudes and adult caregivers. But we are not shifting money around 
chasing George Soros's $15 million. We are talking to America's 
kids, and they are using drugs in every one of these States. 

This is not an urban problem, a minority problem. This is Ameri- 
ca's problem. 

We are in every State in the Union doing that. We are trying to 
target the message by ethnic group, by age, by what drugs this 
group of kids see. The message is different in Boise, ID, than it is 
in Newark, NJ . Meth is in Boise; it isn't in Newark. If you live in 
Los Angeles, you will hear Spanish on the air a lot. If you are in 
San Francisco, we are going to be in the Chinese language on ra- 
dios. So we are going after the target audience with a very power- 
ful, correct message: Don't use drugs. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentleman. 

I would now I ike to recognize the gentleman from New York, Mr. 
T owns. 

Mr. Towns. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I thank you 
for holding this hearing. I think this is a very important debate 
that should take place. I am happy that you are doing it. 

It is also good to see you, Mr. Director, and to commend you on 
the outstanding job that you are doing with limited resources. I 
want you to know that we appreciate that as well. 

My question basically, the first one, is why aren't we looking 
more at antagonizers? The point is that something that we could 
use to sort of help a person stay away from drugs when they are 
off, why aren't we concentrating more on that? 

General McCaffrey. On what? 

Mr. Towns. Antagonizers. In other words, like cyclazocine, a 
medication that would be used to sort of help a person go through 
the crisis. 

General McCaffrey. Yes, I see. 

Mr. Congressman, by the way, let me thank you for the oppor- 
tunity to listen to you and talk to your faith leadership community. 
That was a tremendously important day to me. I benefited a lot 
from hearing their ideas. 

You raise a good point. Dr. Leshner ought to talk to it. 

We are putting a significant amount of money into research ef- 
forts dealing with new medications. Columbia University is doing 
some spectacular work, J ohns Hopkins. There are some for-profit 
corporations. We will try and give the drug treatment community 
the same tools to deal with things like cocaine addiction. There is 
nothing there right now to assess. 

Alan Leshner has several very promising lines of research going. 
We do believe that LAMM, methadone, buprenorphine and other 
medications should be available as an antidote to some of these 
drugs. I think you are quite correct. It is another tool that we 
ought to give our drug treatment community. 

Mr. Towns. How do you feel about the debate that is taking 
place around legalization? Does it endanger the gains we have 
made in reducing drug use? 



97 


General McCaffrey. I think it is a harmful background mes- 
sage. On the other hand, it is a democracy. We have to address 
these ideas. 

Four years ago, Senator Hatch and Senator Biden told me, stay 
away from the legalization group. Don't give legitimacy to their ar- 
gument. They don't have any hold over the American people. 

I think they are so clever, so devious that I welcome this hearing 
and the chance to confront this issue publicly. 

Having said that, it is a terrible problem. Congressman Ose was 
quite correct. If you are a young person in California, in Arizona, 
you are now hearing that smoking pot has some curative power 
over diseases, and you wonder, if it is medicine, how can it be bad 
for me at age 12? 

That is a conflicting message. We think it is harmful. We are 
going to have to deal with it, in open debate, in a democratic soci- 
ety. 

Mr. Towns. Do you think that the reason we get involved in this 
debate so frequently is the fact that there are not enough slots 
available for rehabilitation in terms of a person who walked in this 
room right now and said, I want to be placed on a program today, 

I am ready to give up drugs, I am ready to give up drugs now? 

I don't know what I would do, and I am a Member of the U.S. 
Congress and have been a Member for 17 years. I don't know what 
I would be able to do with that person if he or she walked in here 
right now and said, I want a program today. So I think that maybe 
the reason we keep debating this so frequently is because of the 
lack of slots available for rehabilitation. 

General McCaffrey. I don't argue your point. I have to tell you, 
though, the U.S. Congress in 4 years has increased drug treatment 
funding by 26 percent. Donna Shalala now is $3 billion plus in her 
prevention/treatment funding. You have given us the tools; you are 
moving us in the right direction in the appropriations process. We 
have 300,000 more treatment slots today than we had 4 years ago. 
We now have programs. J anet Reno is pushing to break the cycle 
between drugs and crime. 

If you are behind bars, if you have a drug abuse problem, we 
have to bring effective drug treatment to bear on that population 
or we will never break free of it. 

You did give us the money to get the drug court program up and 
running, so we can get on the front end of this system and put 
these nonviolent offenders into mandated treatment and lock them 
up for 3 days or 21 days to keep them on track. I think you are 
giving us the tools, and over time it will pay off. 

Mr. Towns. I see my time has expired. Let me just say, I com- 
mend you on the work you are doing with the faith community. I 
think that is so important. I think the tie-in of the faith community 
with the rehabilitation is just so important, because they can play 
a very important role in making certain that young people in par- 
ticular follow through on their treatment. Thank you so very, very 
much for that. 

Mr. Chairman, thank you again for holding this hearing. 

[The prepared statement of Hon. Edolphus Towns follows:] 



98 


EDOLPHUS "ED" TOWNS 

MEMBER OF CONGRESS 
lOTH DISTRICT, NEVVYORK 
ENERGY AND COMMERCE 
HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT 
FINANCE AND HAZARDOUS 
MATERIALS 
ENERGY AND ROWER 
GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS 
RANKING MEMBER 
HUMAN RESOURCES AND 
INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS 


Congre£(£( ot tfte ^InitEti 
J^ouSt of iReprejientatibeo 
WaSfimaton, ®C 20515-3210 


WASHINGTON OFFICE: 
Suite 2232 

Rayburn House Orrice Building 
Washington, DC 20515 
(202) 225-5936 

BROOKLYN OFFICES; 

16 Court St., Suite 1505 
Brooklyn, NY 11241 
(718) 8S5-8018 
1110 Pennsylvania Avenue 
Store 5 

Brooklyn, NY 11207 
(718) 272-1175 


1670 Fulton Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11213 
(718) 774-5682 

Statement of Edolphus Towns Member of Congress 
Before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy 
and Human Resources 

Mr. Chairman, ranking member Congresswoman Patsy Mink and my colleagues 
from both sides of the aisle I think that today’s hearii^ is of extreme importance to our 
society. Being a social worker, a former hospital administrator and now a Member of 
Congress I have dealt with this issue from a number of different perspectives. Drug use 
and control is something I take seriously and I strongly support measures to decrease 
drug use, but I am also aware that this is not a simple problem and requires not so simple 
solutions. I realize that we have those who say that this issue opens up the floodgates of 
substance abuse and there are those who oppose this view. I would like to begin by 
stating that no one thing causes substance abuse. There are a number of things involved 
when someone is in that type of situation. 

As stated before I strongly support decreasing drug use but I think today’s issue 
has some important points I would like to highlight. First, I think there is nothing wrong 
with having a dialogue about legitimate medical uses for some currently illegal 
substances. Helping a terminal cancer patient deal with their pain is something we can 
and should discuss. Helping an AIDS patient have an appetite to eat so that they can take 
their medication is something we can and should discuss. We should also discuss the 
parameters imder which these substances should be monitored, used, controlled and 
tracked. We can and should be having these types of dialogues — educating us to make 
legislative decisions, which help our constituents in new ways. 

Secondly, I have always been a strong supporter of innovative treatments for 
substance abuse, including such programs as methadone maintenance and needle 
exchange. We should take a look at some of the solutions we have to the problem of 
drug abuse. Some of these solutions are not addressing the problem. Our war on drugs, 
though well intentioned, needs to be a comprehensive look at the problem. Employers 
should insist on the treatment of employees instead of stigma and termination. Allowing 
workers to continue to work, take medical leave and be treated allows them to stay 
connected and a viable member of society. 

I want to go on the record and state that I am not advocating any kind of “free for ail” with drug 
usage. I am not saying that any and all drugs should be decriminalized. What I am saying is that 
substances that are shown to have scientifically proven medical uses should be looked at to see how 
their uses could be controlled only for medical purposes. 

Mr. Chairman and ranking member Mink I applaud you for your attention to this 
important issue. 



99 


Mr. Mica. I now ra:ognize our vice chairman, the gentleman 
from Georgia, Mr. Barr. 

Mr. Barr. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Chairman, it has been a number of years since we have had 
a comprehensive hearing on the drug legalization issue; and I com- 
mend you for calling us together today. 

Given the fact that much has happened in terms of research and 
writing on issues involving legalization of drugs, so-called medici- 
nal use of marijuana, addiction and so forth si nee the last hearings 
on this topic, I would like to ask unanimous consent to introduce 
into the record a bibliography of marijuana literature, studies. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, so ordered. 

Mr. Barr. The book entitled Marijuana and Medicine, edited by 
Gabriel Nahas, Kenneth Sudan, David Harvey, Stig Agurwell. 

M r. M I CA. Are you aski ng for the enti re vol ume? 

Mr. Barr. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, so ordered. 

[Note.— The information referred to may be found in subcommit- 
tee files.] 

Mr. Barr. We do have some additional studies that we would 
also like to have submitted for the record, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, so ordered. 

Mr. Barr. Thank you. 

[Note.— The information referred to may be found in subcommit- 
tee files.] 

Mr. Barr. General McCaffrey, back in the spring of this year, as 
you know, the Iowa Institute of Medicine published a study. While 
it did not argue for marijuana legalization or the ready availability 
of so-called medicinal use of marijuana, it did keep the issue alive 
and move us ever so slightly down that road. 

You were quoted in the Washington Post as saying you, "thor- 
oughly endorse the study" and called it, and this again is, "a sig- 
nificant contribution to discussing the issue from a scientific and 
medical viewpoint." And that you would not, and this is not a 
quote, but it is attributed to you, that you would not oppose limited 
studies of smoked marijuana until a less harmful way of inhaling 
the substance's active ingredients is found. 

It is that particular notion, attributed to you, that I would like 
to have your reaction to. Do you, in fact, not oppose limited studies 
of smoked marijuana until a less harmful way of inhaling the sub- 
stance's active ingredients is found? 

General McCaffrey. It is true. Indeed, we now have under way 
for about a year— Dr. Leshner can talk to it more knowledgeably 
than I can— we already are doing studies of smoked marijuana as 
medicine. We have ongoing, I think there are two more that have 
passed peer group review. 

I think this study is a pretty good piece of work. This is the exec- 
utive summary. I will make sure that the committee gets a copy 
of it. 

These are serious people. They said up front and, Mr. Congress- 
man, I don't believe you were here when we responded to this in 
an earlier time, smoked marijuana isn't medicine. That is what this 
study says. It is carcinogenic, it is a dangerous drug, it is an un- 
known dose rate, it is 400 plus compounds, it is 30 plus 



100 


cannabinoids. Smoked marijuana isn't medicine. That is what that 
study says. 

It also says 

Mr. Barr. That being the case, General, why would you not op- 
pose further studies of smoked marijuana? That being the case. 

General McCaffrey. It goes on to say that you ought to do fur- 
ther research on the potentially modest contributions to symptom 
management of cannabinoid-based research; and to avoid the prob- 
lem with this carcinogenic delivery vehicle, you ought to develop a 
new rapid onset vehicle. So that is about 80 percent of what this 
says. 

It also suggests, in the interim, with a population that is termi- 
nally ill, with 6 months or less to live, that something could be 
learned from controlled studies of a population who have not re- 
sponded to any other available therapeutic measure; and we could 
collect data as we do under other NIH guidelines for, for example, 
chemotherapy drugs that haven't been yet proven to be effective. 

That is really sort of a modest exception. We have funded one 
such study, and I think there are a couple of more we will fund. 

Mr. Barr. The problem— we have talked about this before— I 
think it is absolutely, utterly inconsistent for the taxpayers to be 
funding such studies. When a company proposing to seek approval 
for and then market a drug seeks to do so, the government doesn't 
pay them to conduct the studies. They absorb the cost of that be- 
cause they are the ones that want to market that product. 

Here we have just the opposite. We have the Federal Govern- 
ment paying for it with taxpayer dollars, paying for studies that 
lead us in the direction of medicinal use of marijuana. 

That is what I don't understand, why the Federal Government- 
why you or anybody else in the Federal Government should be ad- 
vocating, and in fact, carrying out the use of taxpayer dollars to 
fund studies directed toward the possible so-called medicinal use of 
marijuana? If someone wants to study that, why not make them 
pay for it? Why should the taxpayers pay for it? 

General McCaffrey. I think largely we are going to do that. 

Mr. Barr. No, you are not. 

General McCaffrey. If you will allow me to answer. 

Mr. Barr. This other study cost $900 million of taxpayer money. 

General McCaffrey. If you will allow me to answer the ques- 
tion, Congressman, I think the principal contribution that NIH 
makes is to provide medical grade marijuana for these studies. I 
think a lot of these sort of modest proposals are actually funded by 
a San Francisco-based research group. But the bottom line is, this 
is the same tool that is used on chemotherapy as a waiver for cer- 
tain products. 

I agree with you. We don't agree with smoked marijuana, and 
this study doesn't, either. It says smoked pot isn't medicine. But 
some of the cannabinoids in smoked marijuana may 

Mr. Barr. If smoked pot is not medicine, why are we using tax- 
payer dollars to continue to study it? 

General McCaffrey. I have provided you with the answer. You 
don't agree. I respect your viewpoint. That is where we are. 

Mr. Barr. Let us move on to something else. 



101 


If, in fact, marijuana, the active ingredient in it, tetra- 
hydrcxannabinol, THC, is in fact a Schedule I substance, that 
means the drug has a high potential for abuse. Do you agree with 
that? 

General McCaffrey. Sure. You get stoned if you use it. 

Mr. Barr. That it has no currently accepted medicinal use in 
treatment in the United States? I presume you agree with that. 

General McCaffrey. THC does. Marinol is available in phar- 
macies with a doctor's prescription right now. 

Mr. Barr. Do you advocate removing that to a lesser schedule of 
controlled substances? 

General McCaffrey. There is a practical matter that doctors 
don't like using drugs under that restriction. I don't think THC 
competes very well with other available drugs. Certainly nobody in 
his right mind, according to this study, would use THC for glau- 
coma management. It would be bad medical practice. So THC itself 
has some modest potential. It has sort of passed by history. Better 
drugs are available. 

This study is saying, how about the other 30 some odd 
cannabinoids? Do they have any benefit? That is really where they 
are urging us to go. 

Mr. Barr. But you are not advocating in any way, shape or form 
at this time that marijuana be removed as a Schedule I controlled 
substance? 

General McCaffrey. Absolutely not. We are adamantly opposed 
to making marijuana more available to America's children and 
working people. 

Mr. Barr. If I could, Mr. Chairman, ask one further question; 
and I know we need to go vote. I know we have had some discus- 
sion here today of Mr. Soros and others funding the marijuana le- 
galization movement. Aside from what a number of us would like 
to see, and that is a more activist or proactivist role by our Depart- 
ment of j ustice in rebutting and fighting these efforts, is any con- 
sideration being given to possible prosecution under perhaps the 
racketeering title of chapter 96 of title 18? 

General McCaffrey. Mr. Barr, in terms of the initiative by 
State, you mean, these medical marijuana initiatives? 

Mr. Barr. Well, they are engaged in medical marijuana initia- 
tives as well as funding other studies and activities oriented to- 
ward circumventing our drug laws. 

General McCaffrey. I don't know. That is a new one on me. 

My view would be, it is a legitimate topic in a democracy to de- 
bate whether or not these psychoactive drugs should be more avail- 
able in your community. If you want to propose that idea, you 
ought to be able to make your argument. I think it is a silly argu- 
ment, it is dangerous, it is currently against the law for well- 
thought-out reasons, but I welcome the chance to confront that 
issue in open debate. I am positive American families and local 
leadership are not going in that route, not when the idea is aired 
in public as we are now doing. 

Mr. Barr. You are not aware of any effort or even looking into 
the possibility of prosecuting that as possible racketeering? 

General McCaffrey. I don't know. There is a bit of me that says 
it is a possibly chilling implication on the right to free speech. 



102 


Mr. Barr. It might have a chilling effect on the drug legalization 
movement, which might not be bad. 

General McCaffrey. I think we are going to win that. I have 
enormous faith in the judgment of the American people. I think 
this kind of argument in public, if you give them the facts, the 
American people will do the right thing. They are already against 
legalization. You can't get by the common sense of parents, pedia- 
tricians, local law enforcement. Nobody really has a grassroots 
movement on this effort. It is not there. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentleman. 

I would like to yield now to Mr. Souder. 

Mr. Souder. I kind of hate to rain on the general consensus of 
enthusiasm for free and open debate. I am one who is not particu- 
larly happy that we are having a hearing called the pros and cons 
of drug legalization. 

I know the chairman is very committed and has spent his whole 
career fighting ill^al narcotics, but the plain truth of the matter 
is, while we live in a democracy, we do not have hearings called 
the pros and cons of rape, we do not have hearings called the pros 
and cons of child abuse, we do not have hearings called the pros 
and cons of racism, we do not have hearings called the pros and 
cons of gangs. 

The thrust of this being that somehow this is a libertarian argu- 
ment, that somehow somebody goes and smokes pot, that it is a 
victimless crime, is just not true. Those who are advocating the le- 
galization of marijuana are responsible for blood in my district, in 
my neighborhood, families and my community. I don't believe they 
are any less guilty than those who publicly, if we hauled a bunch 
of rapists in nere and said, hey, why do you do it— thousands of 
people do it, but we don't invite them up here to talk about why 
they favor that position. Or there are millions of Americans who 
are racists, but we don't openly say, explain why you're a racist to 
us. I don't think it is right. 

I understand we are trying to be open minded here and that this 
hearing, with all due respect, has mostly people who share my 
hard-line view. But, at the same time, I don't believe that there 
should be views of the pros of illegal activity that is taking the 
lives of thousands and thousands of Americans and to give them 
any kind of credibility that this is a democratic debate. 

I understand what General McCaffrey is arguing that, in fact, 
like racism at different points in American history— and in Indiana 
we had the Ku Klux Klan that took over the State, I don't think 
that was particularly helpful to democracy. I understand that some 
of these things, once it gets to a high level in the democracy, that 
there is a debate that occurs; and if we don't counter it, we have 
to do that. I do have an uncomfortability tothis. 

On a more calmed-down subject— I have just been kind of wound 
up since I heard about the hearing. I, too, have concerns about 
George Soros. Clearly he and his closest allies have funded pre- 
dominantly every one of these referendums and many of the things 
that I have fought so hard. We are about to embark— and I appre- 
ciate all your work in many different areas and particularly in the 
media campaign we are doing, much of what we are doing. We are 
going to fight what he is doing. Have you ever attempt^ to just 



103 


sit down with him and talk with him and say, can you divert some 
of this money to tryi ng to actual ly do a no use? 

General McCaffrey. I have not talked to George Soros, Peter 
Lewis or J ohn Spurling. In California, for the medical rights legal- 
ization campaign, they put essentially $1.3 million into it. Maybe 
I should. 

I actually have enormous sympathy and resonance with what 
you just said. I want you to understand; don't think I've got an 
open mind. I am not— after 372 years of going to drug treatment 
centers around America and listening to 14-year-old girls who are 
addicted to heroin and listening to their parents talk about it and 
just having come yesterday from New Orleans, from a Baptist 
church-based drug treatment center, I am not open minded about 
drug abuse in America. I think it is a crime. 

It is why 1.5 million Americans got arrested. It is the reason why 
half that 1.8 million people are behind bars. It is more people dead 
each year than in the Vietnam War that shattered my generation. 
I think it is crazy, and I think most Americans feel the same way. 

We have to put it out in public. We have to rediscover why we 
are opposed to a drugged, dazed life-style for our children, our fel- 
low workers and our families. 

And we are going to do that. I think it is moving in the right 
direction, thanks to the kind of support this Congress has given 
this program, and you in particular. 

Mr. SouDER. Thank you very much. 

I want to reiterate, too, that in the chairman's district, we heard 
from a young boy and his dad who had started into marijuana and 
the difficulties of that family and how that led— that type of thing 
led a lot to the heroin epidemic in Orlando, in Arizona. 

We heard from a young spouse whose husband would come 
home, smoke marijuana and mix it with alcohol and beat her. We 
have heard many moving testimonies. I hope some of those we can 
pull back out and put into the record with this hearing, too. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentleman. 

Our time has expired. We have a vote, just about 5 minutes left 
in that. 

I think we have gotten all the questions in that we can now. 
General. We are going to submit additional questions to you. We 
are looking for some responses to some of the questions that have 
already been posed that you said you would respond to in writing. 
We thank you for your participation and cooperation and your ef- 
forts in this great mission. There being no further business at this 
time, we will excuse you. 

We will recess for one-half hour, until approximately 12:40, so 
people can get a quick meal. I would like all the witnesses on the 
next panel to be here at 12:40, we will start promptly at that time. 

The subcommittee is in recess. 

[Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the subcommittee recessed, to recon- 
vene at 12:40 p.m., the same day.] 

Mr. Mica. I would like to call the subcommittee back to order. 
Since we have two panels, I would like to proceed. We will be 
joined by other Members shortly. 



104 


Our second panel, by way of introduction, is Dr. Alan Leshner, 
Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Our second wit- 
ness is Mr. Donnie Marshall, who is the Deputy Administrator of 
our Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Gentleman, as you may know, this is an investigation and over- 
sight subcommittee of Congress. We do swear in our witnesses. So 
if you would please stand and raise your right hands. 

[Witnesses sworn.] 

Mr. Mica. I would like to again welcome both of our panelists. 
If you have lengthy statements or additional information you would 
like to submit as part of the record, we would be glad to do that 
by unanimous consent request. 

I will recognize now our first panelist. Dr. Alan Leshner, Director 
of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. You are recognized, sir. 

STATEMENTS OF ALAN LESHNER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL IN- 
STITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE; AND DONNIE MARSHALL, DEP- 
UTY ADMINISTRATOR, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRA- 
TION 

Dr. Leshner. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to 
thank you and the other committee members for inviting me to 
participate in this very important hearing and to speak a bit about 
the science of drug abuse and addiction. 

My full statement, which will be submitted for the record, speaks 
extensively about some of the advances that we have made. I hope 
everyone will have an opportunity to read it. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, that will be made part of the 
record. 

Dr. Leshner. Thank you, sir. 

Let me make some introductory comments. Scientific advances 
have been coming at an extraordinary rate and have virtually revo- 
lutionized our fundamental understanding of drug abuse and addic- 
tion and what to do about them. 

I would say that of particular importance has been an increased 
understanding of the very significant effects that drug use has on 
the user's brain and, as a result, on his or her behavior. Many of 
those effects on the brain persist long after the individual stops 
using drugs and, therefore, their consequences can be extremely 
long-lasting and extremely serious. 

One significant consequence, of course, is addiction, the literal 
compulsion to use drugs that interferes with all other aspects of 
life. Science has taught us that addiction is a devastating illness 
that results from the prolonged effects of drugs on the brain. How- 
ever, I would also point out that the effects of drugs on the brain 
are not limited to addiction. They can result in other long-lasting 
behavioral abnormalities like memory deficits and psych otic- 1 ike 
states with some drugs. 

Of course, drug abuse and addiction have tremendous negative 
consequences that go way beyond the health of the individual, they 
have consequences for the health and social well-being of the public 
as well. Since my written testimony highlights the very diverse 
array of things that science has been teaching us, I will only use 
one or two examples here to make an introductory point. 



105 


As one example, recent scientific advances have taught us much 
about the motivations or the reasons that people use drugs; and, 
of course, there is no single reason that people use these sub- 
stances. Understanding what motivates an individual to use drugs 
is extremely important in designing both prevention and treatment 
programs. We need to know why people are using drugs if we are 
to influence their decision to use. 

Research suggests that there are at least two distinct categories 
of users. One subset of people appear to use drugs simply to have 
a novel or sensational experience. They take them simply to 
produce the positive experience of modifying their mood, their per- 
ception or their emotional state. 

But there is also another large group of people who take drugs 
for a very different reason. Although they are also trying to modify 
their mood, their perception, their emotional state, this group is 
using drugs in an attempt to help them cope with their problems. 
These individuals are, in effect, self-medicating. They are using 
drugs as if they were anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications 
and, of course, over time drug use has the opposite effect. Drug use 
exaggerates rather than corrects underlying psychological, emo- 
tional or situational problems. 

Whatever the motivation for initial drug use, though, drugs 
produce their effects on mood, perception and emotion by modifying 
brain function; and those changes in brain function have dramatic 
consequences both acutely in the short term and over time in the 
long term. 

It is significant that we now know in tremendous detail, the 
mechanisms of action in the brain of every major drug of abuse. 
Among the important things we have learned, by the way, is that 
even though each drug has its own idiosyncratic or individual 
mechanism of affecting the brain, they all share some common ef- 
fects and we are coming to understand these common effects as a 
common essence of addiction. 

The implication of all of this work is that addiction actually 
comes about because prolonged drug use changes the brain. I would 
like to use just one poster to demonstrate one of these important 
differences in brain function caused by prolonged drug use, but I 
would like you to know that we have identified similar kinds of 
changes for many other drugs as well. 

What you are seeing here on my right is the brain's ability to use 
a critical neurochemical called dopamine. The ability to use 
dopamine is critical to normal cognitive functioning and to the nor- 
mal experience of pleasure, among other things, so interfering with 
dopamine function has significant negative behavioral con- 
sequences. 

What this poster is showing you is the very long-lasting effects 
on the brain that methamphetamine in particular can have. So the 
scan on the left is that of a nondrug user. The next one is of a 
chronic methamphetamine user who was drug free for about 3 
years when this image was taken. So this is a persistent effect of 
methamphetamine, basically to destroy the brain's ability to use 
this chemical substance. 

The third scan is of a chronic methcathinone addict who was also 
drug free for about 3 years, and the last image is of the brain of 



106 


an individual newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. What you 
are seeing here is that, when compared with the control on the left, 
there is a significant loss in the brain's ability to transport 
dopamine back into brain cells. 

As I just mentioned, dopamine function is critical to emotional 
regulation. It is involved in the normal experience of pleasure and, 
of course, is involved in controlling motor function. Therefore, this 
long-lasting impairment in dopamine function might account for 
some of the very bizarre behavioral dysfunctions that persist for so 
long after long-term methamphetamine use. 

We believe that this kind of scientific evidence emphasizes dra- 
matically the significant dangers in drug use; and, again, signifi- 
cant brain changes have been observed after individuals use any 
drug— marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, nicotine; and no 
one is immune from the effects of drugs on the brain and the body. 

Studies such as these have taught us that drug use is an equal 
opportunity destroyer. That is why we say that there is no such 
thing as recreational drug use. Drug use is never good for you. It 
is not like playing ping-pong, and it is not like playing tennis. It 
is therefore as a scientist and an official concerns with the public 
health that I applaud your holding this hearing and your highlight- 
ing these kinds of health consequences of drug use. I thank you for 
the opportunity to participate. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you for your testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Leshner follows:] 



107 


Hearing before the 

House Committee on Government Reform 
Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources 


"Drug Legalization ” 


Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D. 


Director 

National Institute on Drug Abuse 
National Institutes of Health 
Department of Health and Human Services 


June 16, 1999 
Room 2154 

Rayburn House Office Building 



108 


DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 
National Institutes of Health 

Statement by 
Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D. 

Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse 

Thank you for inviting me to participate in this hearing. What I would like to do this 
morning is illustrate through the use of some recent research findings what science has 
come to teach us about one of our Nation’s most serious public health problems— drug 
abuse and addiction. I would like to point out at the onset that the scientific advancements 
in the drug abuse and addiction field have been coming at an extraordinary rate and are 
truly revolutionizing how we, both as a field of science, and as a society, approach the 
complex problem of addiction. 

We have learned a great deal about what drugs do to the brain in recent years. In fact, we 
now know more about abused drugs and the brain than is known about almost any other 
aspect of brain function. By building on this advanced understanding of addiction and by 
utilizing emerging state-of-the-art technologies we can now actually see how brain 
mechanisms work both under normal conditions and when affected by drugs of abuse. 
These tools have allowed us to cast away the old popular belief held by many that 
addiction is just a lot of drug use. It is not that simple. In fact, addiction is a chronic, and 
for many people, reoccurring disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use 
that results from the prolonged effects of drugs on the brain. These brain changes are 
essentially what makes addiction a brain disease. This is a conclusion reached by not just 
the researchers that my Institute supports, but by a number of other highly credible 
research-oriented sources, such as the National Academy of Sciences Institute of 
Medicine and the American Medical Association, among others. And as you yourselves 


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109 


will see shortly, from the brain image posters that I brought, the addicted brain is in fact 
different from the non-addicted brain. 

What science has come to show as the “changed” brain of the addict is in fact what we 
have come to believe causes the compulsion to use drugs. Once a person becomes 
addicted, they become preoccupied with their quest for seeking and using drugs. The 
negative consequences that may result from taking the drugs are no longer an important 
issue for them. It is the behaviors that accompany this compulsion that are the elements 
responsible for the enormous health and social problems that drug addiction brings in its 
wake. Drug abuse and addiction have tremendous negative implications for not only the 
health of the individual, but for the health of the public as well. Drug use, directly or 
indirectly, is a major factor in crime and delinquency, work productivity, and is a vector 
for the spread of HIV/AIDS and other serious infectious diseases. With the most recent 
estimate of the economic burden for drug abuse estimated to exceed $109 billion, it is 
more imperative than ever that we rely on research to develop effective prevention and 
treatment programs that will reduce the burden of this disease. Science should also be the 
foundation for any health and social policy decisions that are made regarding drug use. 


Science has also given us a more insightful understanding of why people take drugs. 
People use drugs for a variety of reasons. Some people take drugs simply to have a novel 
or sensational experience. They take them for the experience of modifying their mood, 
their perceptions, or their emotional state. But there is also another group of people who 
take drugs for a different reason. Although they may take drugs to modify their mood or 
their emotional state, they seem to be using drugs to help them cope with their problems. 
These individuals are, in effect, self-medicating. Whatever their initial motivation, people 


3 



110 


basically take drugs because drugs make them feel good or better immediately, and this 
occurs because drugs essentially change the way the brain functions. This is why we say 
that people take drugs because they like what they do to their brains. 

However, the pleasurable effects do not last long. As the drug use continues, tolerance to 
the drug often develops, meaning more frequent drug use is required for the brain to 
register the same level of pleasure experienced during initial use. This often leads to 
even more prolonged drug use. And as 1 mentioned earlier, prolonged drug use has been 
found to cause pervasive changes in brain function. 

This seems to be the case for almost every dmg of abuse, including alcohol, nicotine, 
marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, a problem that has reached epidemic 
proportions in many regions of the country. All of these drugs have been found to 
produce noticeable changes in the brain. Regardless of the idiosyncratic effects that each 
drug causes, all of these drugs have been found to elevate levels of the neurotransmitter 
dopamine in the brain pathways that control reward and pleasure. It is this change in 
dopamine that we have come to believe is a fundamental characteristic of all addictions. 
Of course this is not to say that an individual has to abuse drugs for an entire lifetime for 
drugs to be harmful to their brains and their bodies. Acute drug use can also modify brain 
function in critical ways. The effects of cocaine, for example, appear immediately after a 
single dose. It alters the brain so the individual feels euphoric and mentally alert, 
especially to the sensation of sight, sound and touch. Cocaine use can also constrict 
blood vessels, and increase heart rate and blood pressure. Even short-term marijuana use, 
for example, can affect the brain, by modifying learning abilities, memory, emotional 
state, perception, and motor coordination. Prolonged marijuana use has been found to 
alter memory and learning processes, the brain, the lungs, and the immune system. And 
of course chronic use can lead to addiction. 


4 



Ill 


I would like to use two posters to illustrate how the brain of an addict differs from those 
of a non- addict. Even more importantly, these images provide two dramatic examples of 
the long lasting effects that drugs can have on the brain. These images are particularly 
alarming given that both of these drugs, methamphetamine and MDMA or “Ecstasy” are 
being used increasingly by young adults at levels that have been found to be toxic in 
animals. These are the first direct images showing the effects of these drugs on the brains 
of humans and the effects are the same as they were in animals. 

Figure 1 shows images of two human hrains. The one on top belongs to an individual 
who has never used Ecstasy. The bottom images show the brain of an individual who 
had used Ecstasy heavily for an extended period, but was abstinent from drugs for at least 
three weeks prior to the study. Clearly the brain of the Ecstasy user on the bottom has 
been significantly altered. The specific parameter being measured is the brain’s ability to 
bind the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is critical to normal experiences 
of mood, emotion, pain, and a wide variety of other behaviors. On the figure, brighter 
colors reflect greater serotonin transporter binding; dull colors mean less binding 
capacity. This figure shows a decrease in the Ecstasy user’s ability to remove this 
important neurotransmitter from the intracellular space, thereby amplifying its effects 
within the brain. This decrease lasts at least three weeks after the individual has stopped 
using Ecstasy. Given serotonin’s critical role in many behavioral characteristics, one can 
speculate that this abnormality of the serotonin system might be responsible for some of 
Ecstasy’s long-lasting behavioral effects. 


5 



112 


Figure 2 also demonstrates the long-lasting effects that drugs can have on the brain. Here 
you can see dopamine transporter binding in four different adults. Brighter colors reflect 
greater dopamine binding capacity. The scan on the left is that of a non-drug user, the 
next is of a chronic methamphetamine user who was drug free for about three years when 
this image was taken, followed by a chronic methcathinone abuser who was also drug 
free for about three years. The last image is of the brain of an individual newly diagnosed 
with Parkinson’s Disease, a disease known to deplete dopamine in certain areas of the 
brain. When compared with the control on the left, one can see the significant loss in the 
brain’s ability to transport dopamine back into brain ceils. Dopamine function is critical 
to emotional regulation, is involved in the normal experience of pleasure and is involved 
in controlling an individual’s motor function. Thus, this long-lasting impairment in 
dopamine function might account for some of the behavioral dysfunctions that persist 
after long-term methamphetamine use. 

It is this type of scientific data that should be alarming to every citizen of this Nation. 
Taking drugs is not something anyone should take lightly. Even occasional drug use san 
be dangerous and there is no way to predict who may suffer drastic consequences as a 
result of experimenting with drugs. Some people are just more sensitive to the effects of 
drugs than others. Generally speaking, no one starts out in life saying they want to grow 
up to be a drug addict. And I doubt that anyone thinks that their initial decision to use 
drugs may be something that effects them the rest of their lives. They don’t take into 
account that their occasional dmg use may be having an effect on their brain. And I don’t 
think anybody wants to intentionally give themselves a brain disease. These are some of 


6 



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the reasons that as a scientist and a public health official, it is my responsibility to inform 
people about what drugs can do to the hrain. It is also my responsibility to inform policy 
makers about the science of addiction so they are able to make policy decisions that are in 
the public’s best interests. 

Thank you for the opportunity to testify at this hearing. 


7 





115 



Figure 2 



116 


Mr. Mica. We will withhold questions until we have heard from 
our second panelist, who is Mr. Donnie Marshall, Deputy Adminis- 
trator of our Drug Enforcement Agency. 

Welcome, and you are recpgnized, sir. 

Mr. Marshall. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, 
thank you very much. It is an honor to appear here. 

I have submitted a written statement that I would like to have 
placed in the record. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, so ordered. 

Mr. Marshall. I would also like to say, Mr. Chairman, first of 
all, that I want to express my thanks to the subcommittee, the 
chairman and the members for your support of drug law enforce- 
ment, the DEA in particular. 

I would like to recognize the presence of members of the law en- 
forcement community here today— the National Troopers Coalition, 
the National Narcotic Officers Association Coalition and members 
of several State narcotic officers associations— and recognize their 
tireless work in the efforts to protect our citizens and particularly 
our youth from drugs and drug trafficking. 

What I would like to do today— I am not a scientist. It is an 
honor to appear here with a distinguished scientist such as Alan 
Leshner. I would like to talk to you really as a professional law en- 
forcement person but also as a parent and a community volunteer. 
What I would like to discuss is what I think would happen— based 
on my best professional opinion, what would happen if drugs were 
legalized and then outline why I think a policy of drug enforcement 
and prevention does work. 

I know that a lot of the current debate has really been over the 
legalization of marijuana, of medical marijuana. I suspect, though, 
that legalization of medical marijuana is really the first tactical 
maneuver in a strategy that some hope will result ultimately in the 
legalization of marijuana and all drugs. 

I think the practical outcome of legalizing any drug would simply 
be to increase the amount of drugs available and, in turn, increase 
drug use, abuse and all of the crime and violence that go along 
with that. I really can't imagine anybody arguing that legalizing 
drugs would reduce the amount of drug abuse that we already 
have. 

Although drug abuse is down from its high mark in the 1970's, 
we still have entirely too much drug abuse and too much drug 
availability in this country. In 1962, there were only 4 million 
Americans who had ever tried an illegal drug. In 1997, roughly 77 
million Americans have tried drugs. 

This escalation I think, along with the permissiveness and the 
greater availability of drugs— I think that the escalation really 
drives a central point that I would like to make and that is that 
supply, in my best professional judgment, drives demand. 

What legalization could mean for drug consumption in the 
United States really can be seen in the marijuana liberalization ex- 
periment in Holland, that has already been referred to, that began 
in 1976. Holland has now acquired a reputation as the drug capital 
of Europe. 

Another illustration I think of supply driving demand is the re- 
cent surge in heroin abuse in this country. Starting in the early 



117 


1990's, traffickers from Colombia realized that there were tremen- 
dous profits to be made in heroin trafficking; and they began to 
produce sizable amounts of high-purity heroin. By developing these 
high-purity heroin levels, they attracted many new potential users 
that might not have otherwise been inclined to use the needle be- 
cause they can use this high-purity heroin through an inhalant 
method of usage. 

In order to develop a consumer market for this high-purity her- 
oin, they used aggressive marketing strategies. They b^an to use 
brand names. They began to market their heroin with cocaine. 
They began actually to require cocaine traffickers to move heroin 
as a condition of accepting their cocaine product. 

These examples really are not just my feelings from a law en- 
forcement perspective. There are others who support this line of 
reasoning, such as Dr. Herbert Kleber, who is one of the leading 
authorities on drug addiction. 

In a 1994 article in the New England J ournal of Medicine, Dr. 
Kleber presented clinical data to support the premise that drug use 
would increase with legalization. He stated in this article, and I 
quote: Cocaine is a much more addictive drug than alcohol. If co- 
caine were legally available as alcohol and nicotine are now, the 
number of abusers might be nine times higher than the current 
number. 

I believe that there is also a close relationship between drugs 
and crime, and this relationship can be borne out by statistics. In- 
variably, a majority of the individuals who were arrested for vio- 
lent crime in recent years have tested positive for the presence of 
drugs at the time of their arrest. 

Further, there is a misconception that most drug-related crimes 
involve people who are looking for money to buy drugs. Most drug- 
related crimes are actually committed by people who are under the 
influence of mind-altering drugs; and with increased availability of 
drugs, more people would be abusing drugs. Therefore, I believe 
more people would be committing those crimes, and I think the 
crime rate would actually go up rather than down. 

To illustrate this, I would show a 1994 study by the Bureau of 
J ustice statistics that compared Federal and State prison inmates 
in 1991. This study found that 18 percent of the Federal inmates 
who were incarcerated for homicide had committed that offense 
under the influence of drugs, whereas only 2.7 percent of those peo- 
ple had committed the offense to obtain money for drugs. 

There has been example after example that illustrate the effects 
of increased availability of drugs. We have heard a couple of those 
examples today, particularly Baltimore. We could debate the causes 
and the solutions to the Baltimore example, but we really can't de- 
bate the tragedy that is involved with the Baltimore example. 

In New York, in response to the drug and crime problem, a 
strong law enforcement response was mounted. This has been effec- 
tive in addressing the upward trend of violent crime. I n New York, 
the homicide rate in 1990 had risen to the highest level ever, 2,262. 
By 1998, as a result of the law enforcement response, that homi- 
cide rate dropped to 663, a 70 percent reduction in just 8 years. 
What that really means in human terms is had the murder rate 
stayed at the 1990 level, by 1998 there would have been 1,629 



118 


more people dead than had actually died. I believe it is fair to say 
that those 1,629 human beings owe their lives to the law enforce- 
ment response in New York. 

Proponents of drug legalization often point to the liberalization 
experiments in Europe to show that other nations have successfully 
controlled drugs by providing drugs and areas where they can be 
legally used. My question would be that if those experiments have 
been so successful, why have there been 184 cities in 30 European 
countries who adopted the European Cities Against Drugs resolu- 
tion, commonly known as the Stockholm resolution, which rejects 
the liberalization approach? 

If you really want to discover, though, what legalization might 
mean to society, I suggest you talk to a clergyman, a junior high 
school teacher, a high school coach, a scout leader or a parent. I 
would ask you, and I bet I know the answer, how many parents 
or teachers have ever come into your office to say. Congressman, 
the thing our kids really need is easier availability to illegal drugs? 
I bet you have never had a parent come in and say that. 

Drug addiction and its tragedy, affect entire families. It is a trag- 
edy for everybody involved. It wouldn't matter one bit to those fam- 
ilies and those victims whether those drugs were legal or illegal. 
The human misery would be just the same. The only difference is 
there would be more of it. 

Finally, the point I would like to make, that drug legalization 
would be a law enforcement nightmare. I bet there are very few 
people in the country who would propose making drugs legal to a 
12-year-old child. That reluctance points up a major flaw in the le- 
galization proposal. Drugs will always be denied to some sector of 
our population. So there will always be some form of black market 
and some need for drug enforcement and prevention programs. 

I know that there are those who would make the case that drug 
addiction hurts no one but the user, but if that lie really becomes 
part of the conventional wisdom, there will be a lot of pressure to 
legalize all drug use. If that were done, I believe we could reverse 
that tide only when we see the harmful effects over the years of 
widespread drug abuse. By then, I believe it would be too late to 
reverse that tide. I believe that this is no time to undermine our 
efforts to stem drug abuse. 

I would offer that from 1979 to 1994 the number of drug users 
in America dropped almost by half. I believe that two things sig- 
nificantly contributed to that drop— a strong program of public edu- 
cation and a strict program of law enforcement. Drug laws and pre- 
vention programs can work if we have the national resolve to en- 
force them. 

As a father and someone who has had a lot of involvement with 
kids and Boy Scouts and Little League, and as a 30-year civil serv- 
ant in drug enforcement, I can tell you that there are a lot of young 
people out there that are looking for help. Sometimes helping those 
people means saying no, it means setting limits, and it means hav- 
ing the courage to back that up. 

I would like to tell you about one of those young people who I 
have helped over the course of my career. During the early 1970's 
when I was a young drug agent in Austin, TX, we arrested a young 
man, I will call him j ohn, on drug charges, j ohn had a young preg- 



119 


nant wife at the time. They were devastated by his arrest. But 
after he had served his sentence, he and his wife came to my office 
in Austin looking for me. I was a little bit apprehensive about 
meeting with them at first, but I went ahead and met with them. 

They told me that they had come in so that I could see their new 
baby who had been born whilej ohn was in jail. They also outlined 
a second reason. Both of these people agreed that their experience 
with drugs and J ohn's arrest had been one of the most horrible ex- 
periences that had ever happened to them. But that arrest was 
probably what saved them. 

J ohn explained to me that he had started using drugs because 
they were readily available in Austin, TX, in the early 1970's and 
because he had seen widespread drug use among his peers. He quit 
playing sports. He ignored warnings from his parents, from his 
teachers. Finally, he dropped out of school altogether. 

I had no idea that night when I arrested him what the long-term 
impact would be and that I would have a positive influence on that 
young man's life. I suspect that this young man was a pretty typi- 
cal person, one who used drugs because they were readily available 
and because they were socially acceptable. 

I believe that as a society, we have to help our young people and 
we have to keep them from taking that first step into the world of 
drugs that will ruin their careers, destroy marriages and leave 
them in a cycle of drug dependency. If we don't have the courage 
to say no to drug abuse, I believe we will find that drugs will ruin 
millions of lives and ultimately could destroy the society that we 
have built over the last 200 years. 

Drug-abuse-related crime, personal degeneration and social 
decay, all of that goes with it, those things are not inevitable. They 
are not inevitable. Too many people in this country, I believe, seem 
resigned to this growing rate of drug abuse; and too many people 
seem ready to give up. But our experience with drugs shows that 
strong law enforcement and prevention program policies can and do 
work if we have the courage, the strength and the persistence to 
stay the course. 

At DEA, our mission, quite simply, is to disrupt the major traf- 
ficking organizations and to fight drug trafficking in order to make 
drug abuse expensive, unpleasant, risky and disreputable. If the 
drug users themselves and the traffickers aren't worried about 
their own health, the health of others or the welfare of people who 
are affected by their products, then they should at least nave to 
worry about the likelihood of getting caught and going to prison. 

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity to ap- 
pear. I will be happy to try to answer any questions you or your 
committee may have. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you for your testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Marshall follows:] 



120 


Remarks by 

Donnie Marshall 

Deputy Administrator 
Drug Enforcement Administration 
United States Department of Justice 

before the 

House Government Reform and Oversight Committee’s 
Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human 

Resources 

regarding 

“The Drug Legalization Movement in America” 



Rayburn House Office Building 
Room 2154 
June 16, 1999 
Washington, D.C. 

NOTE: This is the prepared text and may not reflect changes in actual delivery 



121 


Donnie Marshall 
Deputy Administrator 
Drug Enforcement Administration 

Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources 
U.S. House of Representatives 
June 16, 1999 


Mr. Chaiman and Members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate the opportunity 
to appear before you today on the issue of drug legalization, decriminalization and 
harm reduction. 

I am not a scientist, a doctor, a lawyer, or an economist. So I'll do my best to 
leave the scientific, the medical, the legal and the economic issues to others. At 
the Drug Enforcement Administration, our mission is not to enact laws, but to 
enforce them. Based on our experience in enforcing drug laws, I can provide you 
with information and with our best judgment about policy outcomes that may help 
put into context the various arguments in this debate. 

I would like to discuss what I believe would happen if drugs were legalized. I 
realize that much of the current debate has been over the legalization of so-called 
medical marijuana. But I suspect that medical marijuana is merely the first 
tactical maneuver in an overall strategy that some hope will lead to the eventual 
legalization of all drugs. 


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122 


Whether all drugs are eventually legalized or not, the practical outcome of 
legalizing even one, like marijuana, is to increase the amount of usage among all 
drugs. It's been said that you can't put the genie back in the bottle or the 
toothpaste back in the tube. I think those are apt metaphors for what will happen 
if America goes down the path of legalization. Once America gives into a drug 
culture, and all the social decay that comes with such a culture, it would be very 
hard to restore a decent civic culture without a cost to America's civil liberties that 
would be prohibitively high. 

There is a huge amount of research about drugs and their effect on society, here 
and abroad. I'll let others better acquainted with all of the scholarly literature 
discuss that research. What I will do is suggest four probable outcomes of 
legalization and then make a case why a policy of drug enforcement works. 

Legalization would boost drug use 

The first outcome of legalization would be to have a lot more drugs around, 
and, in turn, a lot more drug abuse. I can't imagine anyone arguing that legalizing 
drugs would reduce the amount of drug abuse we already have. Although drug 
use is down from its high mark in the late 1970s, America still has entirely too 
many people who are on drugs. 

In 1962, for example, only four million Americans had ever tried a drug in 
their entire lifetime. In 1997, the latest year for which we have figures, 77 million 


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123 


Americans had tried drugs. Roughly half of all high school seniors have tried 
drugs by the time they graduate. 

The result of having a lot of drugs around and available is more and more 
consumption. To put it another way, supply to some degree drives demand. That 
is an outcome that has been apparent from the early days of drug enforcement. 

What legalization could mean for drug consumption in the United States can be 
seen in the drug liberalization experiment in Holland. In 1976, Holland decided to 
liberalize its laws regarding marijuana. Since then, Holland has acquired a 
reputation as the drug capital of Europe. For example, a majority of the synthetic 
drugs, such as Ecstasy (MDMA) and methamphetamine, now used in the United 
Kingdom are produced in Holland. 

The effect of supply on demand can also be seen even in countries that take a 
tougher line on drug abuse. An example is the recent surge in heroin use in the 
United States. In the early 1990s, cocaine traffickers from Colombia discovered 
that there was a lot more profit with a lot less work in selling heroin. Several 
years ago, they began to send heroin from South America to the United States. 

To make as much money as possible, they realized they needed not only to 
respond to a market, but also to create a market. They devised an aggressive 
marketing campaign which included the use of brand names and the distribution of 
free samples of heroin to users who bought their cocaine. In many cases, they 
induced distributors to move quantities of heroin to stimulate market growth. The 


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124 


traffickers greatly increased purity levels, allowing many potential addicts who 
might be squeamish about using needles to inhale the heroin rather than injecting 
it. The result has been a huge increase in the number of people trying heroin for 
the first time, five times as many in 1997 as just four years before. 

I don't mean to imply that demand is not a critical factor in the equation. But 
any informed drug policy should take into consideration that supply has a great 
influence on demand. In 1 997, American companies spent $73 billion advertising 
their products and services. These advertisers certainly must have a 
well-documented reason to believe that consumers are susceptible to the power of 
suggestion, or they wouldn't be spending all that money. The market for drugs is 
no different. International drug traffickers are spending enormous amounts of 
money to make sure that drugs are available to every American kid in a school 
yard. 


Dr. Herbert Kleber, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College 
of Physicians and Surgeons, and one of the nation's leading authorities on 
addiction, stated in a 1 994 article in the New England Journal of Medicine that 
clinical data support the premise that drug use would increase with legalization. 
He said: 

“There are over 50 million nicotine addicts, 18 million alcoholics or 
problem drinkers, and fewer than 2 million cocaine addicts in the United 
States. Cocaine is a much more addictive drug than alcohol. If cocaine 
were legally available, as alcohol and nicotine are now, the number of 
cocaine abusers would probably rise to a point somewhere between the 
number of users of the other two agents, perhaps 20 to 25 million.. .the 
number of compulsive users might be nine times higher than the current 


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125 


number. When drugs have been widely available — as...cocaine was at the 
turn of the century - both use and addiction have risen.” 

I can't imagine the impact on this society if that many people were abusers of 
cocaine. From what we know about the connection between drugs and crime, 
America would certainly have to devote an enormous amount of its financial 
resources to law enforcement. 

Legalization would contribute to a rise in crime. 

The second outcome of legalization would be more crime, especially more 
violent crime. There's a close relationship between drugs and crime. This 
relationship is borne out by the statistics. Every year, the Justice Department 
compiles a survey of people arrested in a number of American cities to determine 
how many of them tested positive for drugs at the time of their arrest. In 1998, the 
survey found, for example, that 74 percent of those arrested in Atlanta for a 
violent crime tested positive for drugs. In Miami, 49 percent; in Oklahoma City, 
60 percent. 

There's a misconception that most drug-related crimes involve people who are 
looking for money to buy drugs. The fact is that the most dmg-related crimes are 
committed by people under the influence of mind-altering drugs. A 1994 study 
by the Bureau of Justice Statistics compared Federal and state prison inmates in 
1991. It found that 18 percent of the Federal irunates incarcerated for homicide 
had committed homicide under the influence of drugs, whereas 2.7 percent of 
these individuals had committed the offense to obtain money to buy drugs. The 


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same disparities showed up for state inmates: almost 28 percent committed 
homicide under the influence versus 5.3 percent to obtain the money to buy drugs. 

Those who propose legalization argue that it would cut down on the number of 
drug-related crimes because addicts would no longer need to rob people to buy 
their drugs from illicit sources. But even supposing that argument is true, which I 
don't think that it is, the fact is that so many more people would be abusing drugs, 
and committing crimes under the influence of drags, that the crime rate would 
surely go up rather than down. 

It's clear that drags often cause people to do things they wouldn't do if they 
were drag-free. Too many drag users lose the kind of self-control and common 
sense that keeps them in bounds. In 1998, in the small community of Albion, 
Illinois, two young men went on a widely reported, one-week, non-stop binge on 
methamphetamine. At the end of it, they started a killing rampage that left five 
people dead. One was a Mennonite fanner. They shot him as he was working in 
his fields. Another was a mother of four. They hijacked her car and killed her. 

The crime resulting from drug abuse has had an intolerable effect on American 
society. To me, the situation is well illustrated by what has happened in Baltimore 
during the last 50 years. In 1950, Baltimore had just under a million residents. 

Yet there were only 300 heroin addicts in the entire city. TTiat's fewer than one out 
of every 3,000 residents. For those 300 people and their families, heroin was a big 
problem. But it had little effect on the day-to-day pattern of life for the vast 
majority of the residents of Baltimore. 


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Today, Baltimore has 675,000 residents, roughly 70 percent of the population it 
had in 1950. But it has 130 times the number of heroin addicts. One out of every 
17 people in Baltimore is a heroin addict. Almost 39,000 people. For the rest of 
the city's residents, it's virtually impossible to avoid being affected in some way 
by the misery, the crime and the violence that drug abuse has brought to 
Baltimore. 

People who once might have sat out on their front stoops on a hot summer 
night are now reluctant to venture outdoors for fear of drug-related violence. Drug 
abuse has made it a matter of considerable risk to walk down the bloclcto the 
comer grocery store, to attend evening services at church, or to gather in the 
school playground. 

New York City offers a dramatic example of what effective law enforcement 
can do to stem violent crime. City leaders increased the police department by 30 
percent, adding 8,000 officers. Arrests for all crimes, including drug dealing, drug 
gang activity and quality of life violations which had been tolerated for many 
years, increased by 50 percent. The capacity of New York prisons was also 
increased. 

The results of these actions were dramatic. In 1990, there were 2,262 
homicides in New York City. By 1998, the number of homicides had dropped to 
663. That’s a 70 percent reduction in just eight years. Had the murder rate stayed 
the same in 1998 as it was in 1990, 1 629 more people would have been killed in 


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New York City. I believe it is fair to say that those 1 629 human beings owe their 
lives to this effective response by law enforcement. 

Legalization would have consequences for society 

The third outcome of legalization would be a far different social environment. 
The social cost of drug abuse is not found solely in the amount of crime it causes. 
Drugs cause an enormous amount of accidents, domestic violence, illness, and lost 
opportunities for many who might have led happy, productive lives. 

Drug abuse takes a terrible toll on the health and welfare of a lot of American 
families. In 1996, for example, there were almost 15,000 drug-induced deaths in 
the United States, and a half-million emergency room episodes related to drugs. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 36 percent of 
new cases are directly or indirectly linked to injecting drug users. 

Increasing drug use has had a major impact on the workplace. According to 
estimates in the 1 997 National Household Survey, a study conducted by the 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 6.7 
million full-time workers and 1 .6 million part-time workers are current users of 
illegal drugs. 


Employees who test positive for drug use consume almost twice the medical 
benefits as nonusers, are absent from work 50 percent more often, and make more 



129 


than twice as many workers' compensation claims. Drug use also presents an 
enormous safety problem in the workplace. 

This is particularly true in the transportation sector. Marijuana, for example, 
impairs the ability of drivers to maintain concentration and show good judgment 
on the road. A study released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse surveyed 
6,000 teenage drivers. It studied those who drove more than six times a month 
after using marijuana. The study found that they were about two-and-a-haif times 
more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than those who didn't smoke 
marijuana before driving. 

The problem is compounded when drivers have the additional responsibility for 
the safety of many lives. In Illinois, for example, drug tests were administered to 
current and prospective school bus drivers between ] 995 and 1996. Two hundred 
tested positive for marijuana, cocaine and other drugs. In January 1 987, a Conrail 
engineer drove his locomotive in front of an Amtrak passenger train, kJlling 16 
people and injuring 170. It was later determined that just 18 minutes before the 
crash, both he and his brakeman had been smoking marijuana. 

In addition to these public safety risks and the human misery costs to drug 
users and their families associated with drug abuse, the Office of National Drug 
Control Policy has put a financial price tag on this social ill. According to the 
1999 National Drug Control Strategy, illegal drugs cost society about $1 10 billion 
every year. 


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Proponents of legalization point to several liberalization experiments in Europe 
- for example, the one in Holland that I have already mentioned. The experiment 
in Holland is now 23 years old, so it provides a good illustration of what 
liberalizing our drug laws portends. 

The head of Holland's best known drug abuse rehabilitation center has 
described what the new drug culture has created. The strong form of marijuana 
that most of the young people smoke, he says, produces "a chronically passive 
individual.... someone who is lazy, who doesn't want to take initiatives, doesn't 
want to be active — the kid who'd prefer to lie in bed with a joint in the -morning 
rather than getting up and doing something." 

England’s experience with widely available heroin shows that use and 
addiction increase. In a policy far more liberal than America’s, Great Britain 
allowed doctors to prescribe heroin to addicts. There was an explosion of heroin 
use. According to James Q. Wilson, in 1960, there were 68 heroin addicts 
registered with the British Government. Today, there are roughly 31,000. 

Liberalization in Switzerland has had much the same results. This small nation 
became a magnet for drug users the world over. In 1987, Zurich permitted drug 
use and sales in a part of the city called Platzspitz, dubbed "Needle Park." By 
1992, the number of regular drug users at the park had reportedly swelled from a 
few hundred in 1982 to 20,000 by 1992. The experiment has since been 
terminated. 


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In April, 1 994, a number of European cities signed a resolution titled 
"European Cities Against Drugs," commonly known as the Stockholm resolution. 
Currently the signatories include 1 84 cities or municipalities in 30 different 
countries in Europe. As the resolution stated; ". . ..the answer does not lie in 
making harmful drugs more accessible, cheaper and socially acceptable. Attempts 
to do this have not proved successful. We believe that legalizing drugs will, in the 
long term, increase our problems. By making them legal, society will signal that it 
has resigned to the acceptance of drug abuse." I couldn't say it any better than 
that. After seeing the results of liberalization up close, these European cities 
clearly believe that liberalization is a bad idea. 

You do not have to visit Amsterdam or Zurich or London to witness the effects 
of drug abuse. If you really want to discover what legalization might mean for 
society, talk to a local clergyman or an eighth grade teacher, or a high school 
coach, or a scout leader or a parent. How many teachers do you know who come 
and visit your offices and say, Congressman, the thing that our kids need more 
than anything else is greater availability to drugs. How many parents have you 
ever known to say, “I sure wish my child could find illegal drugs more easily than 
he can now.” 

Or talk to a local cop on the beat. Night after night, they deal with 
drug-induced domestic violence situations. They respond to a 91 1 call and there is 
a fight, and the people are high on pot or speed, or the husband or father is a 
heroin addict, and you can't wake him up or he's overdosed in the family bedroom. 
That's where you see the real effects of drugs. 


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132 


Anyone who has ever worked undercover in drug enforcement has witnessed 
young children, 12- and 14-year old girls, putting needles into their arms, shooting 
up heroin or speed. To feed their habit, the kids start stealing from their parents 
and their brothers and sisters, stealing and pawning the watch that's been handed 
down from their grandmother to buy a bag of dope. Drug addiction is a family 
affair. It's a tragedy for everyone involved. And it wouldn’t matter a bit to these 
families if the drugs were legal. The human misery would be the same. There 
would just be more of it. 

Legalization would present a law enforcement nightmare 

The fourth outcome of legalization would be a law enforcement nightmare. I 
suspect few people would want to make drugs available to 12-year old children. 
That reluctance points to a major flaw in the legalization proposal. Drugs will 
always be denied to some sector of the population, so there will always be some 
form of black market and a need for drug enforcement. 

Consider some of the questions that legalization raises: What drugs will be 
legalized? Will it be limited to marijuana? What is a safe dosage of 
methamphetamine or of crack cocaine? If the principle is advanced that drug 
abuse is a victimless crime, why limit dmg use to marijuana? 

I know that there are those who will make the case that dmg addiction hurts no 
one but the user. If that becomes falsely part of the conventional wisdom, there 
will certainly be pressure to legalize all drug use. Only when people come to 


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133 


realize how profoundly all of us are affected by widespread drug abuse will there 
be pressure to put the genie back in the bottle. By then, it may be too late. 

But deciding what drugs to legalize will only be part of the problem. Who will 
be able to buy drugs legally? Only those over 18 or 21? If so, you can bet that 
many young people who have reached the legal age will divert their supplies to 
younger friends. Of course, these young pushers will be in competition with many 
of the same people who are now pushing drugs in school yards and neighborhood 
streets. 

Any attempt to limit drug use to any age group at all will create a black market, 
with all of the attendant crime and violence, thereby defeating one of the goals 
purported of legalization. That's also true if legalization is limited to marijuana. 
Cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine will be far more profitable products for the 
drug lords. Legalization of marijuana alone would do little to stem illegal 
trafficking. 

Will airline pilots be able to use drugs? Heart surgeons? People in law 
enforcement or the military? Teachers? Pregnant women? Truck drivers? 

Workers in potentially dangerous jobs like construction? 

Drug use has been demonstrated to result in lower work-place productivity, and 
often ends in serious, life-threatening accidents. Many drug users are so 
debilitated by their habit that they can't hold jobs. Which raises the question, if 
drug users can't hold a job, where will they get the money to buy drugs? Will the 


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134 


right to use drugs imply a right to the access to drugs? If so, who will distribute 
free drugs? Government employees? The local supermarket? The college 
bookstore? If they can’t hold a job, who will provide their food, clothing and 
shelter? 

Virtually any form of legalization will create a patchwork quilt of drug laws 
and drug enforcement. The confusion would swamp our precinct houses and 
courtrooms. I don't think it would be possible to effectively enforce the remaining 
drug laws in that kind of environment. 

Drug enforcement works 

This is no time to undermine America's effort to stem drug abuse. America's 
drug policies work. From 1979 to 1994, the number of drug users in America 
dropped by almost half. Two things significantly contributed to that outcome. 
First, a strong program of public education; second, a strict program of law 
enforcement. 

If you look over the last four decades, you can see a pattern develop. An 
independent researcher, R. E. Peterson, has analyzed this period, using statistics 
from a wide variety of sources, including the Justice Department and the White 
House Office of National Drug Control Strategy. He broke these four decades 
down into two periods: the first, from 1960 to 1980, an era of permissive drug 
laws; the second, from 1980 to 1995, an era of tough drug laws. 


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135 


During the permissive period, drug incarceration rates fell almost 80 percent. 
During the era of tough drug laws, drug incarceration rates rose almost 450 
percent. Just as you might expect, these two policies regarding drug abuse had far 
different consequences. During the permissive period, drug use among teens 
climbed by more than 500 percent. During the tough era, dmg use by high school 
students dropped by more than a third. 

Is there an absolute one-to-one correlation between tougher drug enforcement 
and a declining rate of drug use? I wouldn't suggest that. But the contrasts of 
drug abuse rates between the two eras of drug enforcement are striking.- 

One historian of the drug movement has written about America's experience 
with the veterans of Vietnam. As you may recall from the early 1970s, there was a 
profound concern in the American government over the rates of heroin use by our 
military personnel in Vietnam. At the time, U.S. Army medical officers estimated 
that about 10-15 percent of the lower ranking enlisted men in Vietnam were heroin 
users. 

Military authorities decided to take a tough stand on the problem. They 
mandated a drug test for every departing soldier. Those who failed were required 
to undergo drug treatment for 30 days. The theory was that many of the soldiers 
who were using heroin would give it up to avoid the added 30 days in Vietnam. It 
clearly worked. Six months after the tests began, the percentage of soldiers testing 
positive dropped from 1 0 percent to two percent. 


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136 


There may be a whole host of reasons for this outcome. But it demonstrates 
that there is nothing inevitable about drug abuse. In fact, the history of America's 
experience with drugs has shown us that it was strong drug enforcement that 
effectively ended America's first drug epidemic, which lasted from the mid- 1 880s 
to the mid- 1920s. 

By 1 923, about half of all prisoners at the Federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, 
Kansas, were violators of America's first drug legislation, the Harrison Act. Ifyou 
are concerned by the high drug incarceration rates of the late 1990s, consider the 
parallels to the tough drug enforcement policies of the 1920s. It was those tough 
policies that did much to create America's virtually drug-free environment of the 
mid-20th Century. 

Drug laws can work, if we have the national resolve to enforce them. As a 
father, as someone who's had a lot of involvement with the Boy Scouts and Little 
Leaguers, and as a 30-year civil servant in drug enforcement, I can tell you that 
there are a lot of young people out there looking for help. Sometimes helping 
them means saying "no," and having the courage to back it up. 

Let me tell you a story about one of them. He was a young man who lived near 
Austin, Texas, in the early 1970's. He had a wife who was pregnant. To protect 
their identities. I'll call them John and Michelle. John was involved in drugs, and 
one night we arrested him and some of his friends on drug charges. He went on to 
serve a six-month sentence before being turned loose. 


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137 


Sometime after he got out, he and his wife came to our office looking for me. 
They rang the doorbeil out at the reception area, and my secretary came back and 
said they were here to see me. I had no idea what they wanted. I was kind of 
leery, thinking they might be looking for revenge. But I went out to the reception 
area anyway. 

John and Michelle were standing there with a little toddler. They said they just 
wanted to come in so we could see their new baby. And then Michelle said there 
was a second reason they came by. When he got arrested, she said, that's the best 
thing that ever happened to them. 

We had been very wholesome people, she said. John was involved in sports in 
high school. He was an all-American guy. Then he started smoking pot. His 
parents couldn't reach him. His teachers couldn’t reach him. He got into other 
drugs. He dropped out of high school. The only thing that ever got his attention, 
she said, was when he got arrested. 

Meanwhile, John was listening to all this and shaking his head in agreement. 

He said that his high school coach had tried to counsel him, but he wouldn't listen 
to him. He said his big mistake was dropping out of sports. He thought that if he 
had stayed in sports he wouldn't have taken the route he did. But mainly, he said 
he took this route because of the easy availability of drugs and their widespread 
usage by his peers. 


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138 


When I arrested those kids that night I had no idea of the extent to which I 
would ultimately help them out of their problems and influence their lives in a 
positive way. In 30 years of dealing with young Americans, I believe that John is 
more typical than not. His human frailties were magnified by the easy availability 
of drugs and by peer pressure; and his life was brought near ruin. 

America spends millions of dollars every year on researching the issue of 
drugs. We have crime statistics and opinion surveys and biochemical research. 
And all of that is important. But what it all comes down to is whether we can help 
young people like John - whether we can keep them from taking that first step into 
the world of drugs that will ruin their careers, destroy their marriages and leave 
them in a cycle of dependency on chemicals. 

Whether in rural areas, in the suburbs, or in the inner cities, there are a lot of 
kids who could use a little help. Sometimes that help can take the form of 
education and counseling. Often it takes a stronger approach. And there are plenty 
of young people, and older people as well, who could use it. 

If we as a society are unwilling to have the courage to say no to drug abuse, we 
will find that drugs will not only destroy the society we have built up over 200 
years, but ruin millions of young people like John. 

Drug abuse, and the crime and personal dissolution and social decay that go 
with it, are not inevitable. Too many people in America seem resigned to the 


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139 


growing rates of drug use. But America's experience with drugs shows that strong 
law enforcement policies can and do work. 

At DBA, our mission is to fight drug trafficking in order to make drug abuse 
expensive, unpleasant, risky, and disreputable. If drug users aren't worried about 
their health, or the health and welfare of those who depend on them, they should at 
least worry about the likelihood of getting caught. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, for the 
opportunity to testify before you today. I would be happy to try and answer any 
questions you might have. 


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140 


Mr. Mica. I do have some questions. Let me start first with Dr. 
Leshner. 

Doctor, there have been questions raised about the need for addi- 
tional studies of the effect of marijuana. First of all, the effect of 
marijuana and the marijuana that we see out there now I think— 
is a little bit different than in the 1970's and maybe even the 
1980's— what would be, in general, the damage to an individual? 

The second part of that marijuana question would be, are there 
additional studies that need to be conducted or is there sufficient 
scientific, documented, factual evidence that there is, or is not med- 
ical benefit for the use of marijuana? 

Can you address both of those parts? 

Dr. Leshner. The situation with the marijuana that is available 
on the street is that if you were to look at the average concentra- 
tion of marijuana that is seized and analyzed, what you find is that 
in the last decade or so it has been relatively stable, on average, 
and that it is a bit higher, 1 or 2 percentage points of concentration 
higher than it had been in the 1970's. 

What has changed and what I think is a point of concern for 
many people is that the diversity of forms and concentrations of 
marijuana has increased tremendously. So although the average 
may not be that much different, you now have tremendously potent 
marijuana and marijuana-like products that are available that 
might not have been available earlier. 

As to the second question about the purported medical uses of 
marijuana, both the National Institutes of Health and, as General 
McCaffrey said this morning, the Institute of Medicine of the Na- 
tional Academy of Sciences have looked at this question in detail. 
Let me try and be precise in reporting what they have said. That 
is, there is not a body of scientific literature to suggest that mari- 
juana is, in fact, a m^icine. 

However, having said that, both groups suggested that there 
might be ultimate use for some of the components of marijuana, for 
example, THC, and that research should be done in order to an- 
swer that question. 

One of the issues that confront public health officials is that 
there is a lot of anecdote, intuition and common sense that appears 
to be driving medical practice in some parts of this country; and 
it is our obligation in the scientific community to try to provide a 
scientific answer to that. It is for that reason that these groups rec- 
ommended that we enable research into the medical uses of mari- 
juana. 

We do have some ongoing studies that we are supporting looking 
at the potential use of marijuana for the treatment of AIDS wast- 
ing, for the treatment of cancer chemotherapy for those people who 
do not respond to existing medications, and for a potential use in 
analgesia. 

Mr. Mica. Do you feel that you have sufficient resources this 
year to complete those studies? 

Dr. Leshner. We will complete those studies. 

I need to say that for the National Institutes of Health we don't 
see this as a particularly high priority area, that is, as it goes 
through the peer review process, the majority of these studies have 
not received very high priority scores. That is why additional stud- 



141 


ies have not been funded. We therefore have provided a mechanism 
whereby bona fide research can be conducted by other entities. It 
would have to be judged to be genuine research through the Food 
and Drug Administration and NIH. Therefore, we might supply 
marijuana on a reimbursable basis. 

Mr. Mica. Do you plan in the next fiscal year beginning in Octo- 
ber of this year to fund additional studies? 

Dr. Leshner. We have not received additional proposals for sup- 
port from the National I nstitutes of Health, and we are not actively 
soliciting such studies. If they come in the door, we will evaluate 
them. If they receive sufficient priority and merit, then we would 
consider funding them. 

Again, we don't have any of those proposals before us that I am 
aware of at the moment. Maybe another institute does. Therefore, 

I think it is not very likely that we will fund many additional stud- 
ies in the coming fiscal year. 

Mr. Mica. Mr. Marshall, some of the prolegalization folks are 
taking to the airwaves and supporting various referendum initia- 
tives. They are even publicizing in paid advertisements, this is a 
paid, multi page advertisement, to change drug control strategy and 
policy. 

One of the things they recommend on the last page is effective 
drug control budget. They want to slice law enforcement by 50 per- 
cent. Do you think that is an effective strategy? What would it do 
if we slic^ law enforcement by 50 percent? 

Mr. Marshall. Mr. Chairman, no, I don't think that is an effec- 
tive strategy. As I have mentioned in my comments, I believe that 
a combination of drug prevention programs and law enforcement 
really works. 

I heard this morning either yourself, Mr. Chairman, or Congress- 
man Gilman refer to some decreases in the amount of cocaine use 
in this country. I would offer, that law enforcement was a part of 
that reduction. Over the last 6 to 7 to 8 years, we have very effec- 
tively wiped out the Medellin Colombia cocaine cartel. We have 
continued our enforcement efforts against their successors, the Cali 
cartel. We really have that group in tremendous disarray right 
now. 

I would submit that law enforcement success is a part of the rea- 
son that we have seen that reduction in the cocaine abuse rate. So 
law enforcement does work. I think it would devastate the total ef- 
fort if we reduced our law enforcement programs. 

Obviously, I think prevention and location are the long-term 
solutions to this problem; but, in the meantime, we have a lot of 
vicious, violent criminals that are preying on our citizens through 
drug trafficking; and those criminals ne^ to be dealt with. The 
only way to do that is through law enforcement. 

Mr. Mica. Two quick points in conclusion. 

I think this Baltimore example which Tom Constantine, the Di- 
rector/Administrator, had prepared shows that liberalization can be 
effective in population reduction, which took place in Baltimore. 
There can be some, I guess lessening in crime, although I don't 
think it has been very significant in Baltimore. But liberalization 
leads to addiction. 



142 


Now, this number we have here is from 1950, 300 heroin addicts 
in Baitimore, to 38,985. The gentieman from Baitimore, Mr. 
Cummings, has toid me it is cioser to 60,000. That wouid mean 
about 10 percent of the popuiation of Baitimore. Do you think this 
is the way we shouid go? 

i mean, your statistics point that iiberaiization has some effect, 
crime is down siightiy in Baitimore, but we have, i wouid say, more 
than a few more addicts. Does iiberaiization iead to addiction? 

Mr. Marshall. Mr. Chairman, i do not beiievethe iiberaiization 
approach is the way that we shouid go. i have aiready used the 
New York exampie, which i beiieve has resuited in iess vioience in 
that city, i wouid aiso use as an exampie a 1998 study by thej us- 
tice Department, i beiieve it is the ADAM report, that shows that 
arrestees for vioient crimes tested positive for drugs at the foiiow- 
ing rates: 74 percent of arrestees for vioient crimes in Atianta test- 
ed positive for iiiegai drugs, 49 percent in Miami, 60 percent in 
Okiahoma City, i have given you exampies of the homicides that 
were committed under the influence of drugs, i beiieve there is 
dear, dear evidence that drug use is accompanied by crime and vi- 
oience, and i absoiuteiy do not beiieve that iiberaiization is the 
right approach. 

Mr. Mica. One finai question. The internet now has become a 
source for market activity. Our staff produced this iittie printout 
that shows price, drug price report, prices of Ecstasy and LSD and 
marijuana, i guess this information can be made pubiic iegaiiy, ai- 
though i am toid additionaiiy you can buy drugs now over the 
internet, iiiegai drugs, is the DEA taking any steps to go after 
foiks that are deaiing in this? And is it iiiegai to market and seii 
drugs in this fashion? 

Mr. Marshall. What you have referred to there in terms of the 
prices and basicaiiy steering peopie toward sources, i wouid be 
hard-pressed to say that that is iiiegai. You get into freedom of 
speech issues and that sort of stuff. But as far as the seiiing of 
drugs over the internet, obviousiy that is just as iiiegai as seiiing 
drugs in any other forum. 

We have heard those same reports. We are in the eariy stages 
of evaiuating and assessing that. We wiii be iooking at that over 
the course of the near future. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. 

i wiii yieid now to the ranking member, Mrs. Mink. 

Mrs. Mink. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Marshaii, foiiowing on the chairman's question about the use 
of the i nternet to entice peopie to try drugs and indicate that it is 
wideiy avaiiabie and where it couid be purchased, is there any ef- 
fort at the DEA to iook at this as a speciai probiem and, if so, what 
are you doing about it? 

Mr. Marshall. We are actuaiiy investigating the reports that we 
have heard of the saie of drugs over the internet. Quite honestiy, 
we are in the eariy stages of that, and we do not have a handie 
on that, i wouid iike to respond to that at a iater date after we 
have had a chance to compieteiy iook into it. 

Mrs. Mink. But it wouid seem to me that it wouid be important 
for the DEA to have a cyberspace cop section that wouid be iooking 



143 


at all of this and keeping on top of it and making a search to see 
who is doing all of this and whether, in fact, sales are taking place. 

Mr. Marshall. We have requested in our 2001 budget funding 
for a computer forensics program. What you are suggesting would 
become a part of that computer forensics program. We have a lim- 
ited capability in that area right now, but we hope to increase that 
over the next couple of years through the budget process. 

Mrs. Mink. Currently we are discussing Internet sales of guns, 
Internet sales of wine and beer and hard liquor. So I think this 
suggests a new area to begin some very serious studies and sugges- 
tions for legal efforts on the part of the Federal Government to 
intercept the growth of this particular industry. 

I am very distressed about it. I have a bill myself that bans the 
I nternet sale of guns. It would seem to me that we could easily ex- 
pand it to this if there is any gap in the law that prevents you from 
getting into this field at all. 

Mr. Marshall. I agree totally with everything you have said. 

I would point to a particular issue with law enforcement, and it 
is going to become more of an issue as Internet commerce grows, 
and that is the issue of encryption. We are sort of at a crossroads 
right now. We have a need to preserve law enforcement's legitimate 
court -ordered, court-authorized capability to intercept both tele- 
phone communications, fax communications and Internet commu- 
nications that involve criminal activities. We are, frankly, in some 
danger of losing that. That is an issue that the law enforcement 
community has had a lot of dialog with Congress and industry on. 
It is an issue which is very important to law enforcement. 

Mrs. Mink. The statistics that you brought forth about the num- 
ber of people in prison today who have a drug use connection is 
very startling. Could you tell the committee how many major drug 
traffickers are in prison today? 

Mr. Marshall. I would have to get that actual information as to 
how many are in prison. 

I can tell you this. The Drug Enforcement Administration and 
our local law enforcement partners who are working with us 
through formalized task forces arrested some 33,000 drug traffick- 
ers in the most recent fiscal year, 1999. I could not tell you how 
many of those are actually in prison, but we do target the major 
traffickers, the major command and control figures, the commu- 
nications managers, the money launderers, those kinds of people. 

Among those 33,000 that we have arrested, we believe that they 
are, for the most part, major drug criminals. If you would like, I 
will try to get you those statistics. 

Mrs. Mink. I would appreciate having that for the record, Mr. 
Chairman, when you are able to assemble it. 

Now, if you were able to arrest and convict those 33,000 drug 
traffickers, what percentage of the drug traffic in America would 
that then represent? 

Mr. Marshall. That is a very difficult, if not impossible, ques- 
tion to really answer. The reason it is difficult to answer is that 
when you look at drug production in the aggregate, you have to 
consider a number of things. You have to consider that there is a 
demand for drugs at a certain level in the United States. There are 
numbers on this. I don't have them with me. 



144 


If you assume a certain level of demand, we know that the traf- 
fickers have an actual production level of drugs that is in excess 
of that demand. So you would think that would be a simple equa- 
tion, you bring that down below the demand, you impact availabil- 
ity of drugs. 

But what we also have to consider is that somewhere above the 
actual production is production capability. The traffickers have this 
built-in capability to account for loss and spoilage and law enforce- 
ment seizures and that sort of stuff. So what you have to do is real- 
ly impact the production capability, not the actual production, be- 
fore you can impact the demand level. And because that production 
capability so far exceeds the demand level, it is really hard to say— 
it is probably impossible to say what percentage those 33,000 ar- 
rested represent. 

Mrs. Mink. What you are really saying is, even if you put all of 
them in jail, there will still be traffickers to replace them that will 
be out there to sell whatever else is being produced? 

Mr. Marshall. As long as there is widespread drug use. That is 
where the prevention side of the equation comes in. 

Mrs. Mink. That is the reason for my question, is that when we 
are dealing with the subject of youthful potential users, say, of 
marijuana, for instance, the whole issue that I am confronted with 
when I talk to teenagers about this is that they would say, but it's 
so easy to get, it's down on that street corner or over at this shop- 
ping center or wherever. So I always confront the question of what 
can we do as a society to stop this easy access, easy availability? 
And so I go back to the trafficking and how this thing moves 
through our society. Unless we can come to grips with that issue, 
it is tough on the other aspect, of keeping our kids away from it. 

Mr. Marshall. Here is what we can do, in my best professional 
judgment. It really has to be a two-pronged attack. We have to do 
the prevention and the demand reduction side of the equation as 
the ultimate long-term solution. But in the meantime, as I men- 
tioned, we have these major narcotics traffickers. We have the vio- 
lence, we have the crime that is associated with drug use, and we 
have to go after those criminals. We have to punish those crimi- 
nals. 

What we do in the DEA and I think most law enforcement agen- 
cies, we try to target the most violent of those criminals. We try 
to target the ones who are moving the largest quantities of drugs. 
And, frankly, law enforcement resources are limited across this 
country. We can never arrest our way out of the problem. I don't 
think any law enforcement professional would say that we could. 
But it is a part of the equation that we have to address because 
of the crime and the violence. 

Mrs. Mink. Moving to the prevention end and addressing it only 
to the teenager, the student in school, what is the most effective 
thing that we can do to prevent our young people from making that 
first mistake, in trying marijuana or some other drug? What is the 
most effective thing that we can do here in the Congress or in the 
relevant agencies to which this problem is assigned? 

Maybe Dr. Leshner can answer that. 

Dr. Leshner. A great deal of research has been done on the pre- 
vention of drug use; and, sadly, there is no simple solution to the 



145 


problem, of course. But we do know that comprehensive programs 
that involve multiple parts of the community that are all sending 
the same message and that are sending those messages repeatedly 
are effective in preventing drug use. 

General McCaffrey showed some very impressive graphs about 
changes in drug attitudes and changes in drug use rates. We have 
begun to see a change in attitudes, to see the beginning of a change 
in use rates. Some of that, we believe, is a result of very sophisti- 
cated prevention programming that gets initiated very early. We 
have to get kids before they are in middle school, and then we have 
to give them boosters, just like any other vaccination program. And 
so this programming is never simple, and it does have to be com- 
prehensive. 

One of the things that has happened in this country is the evo- 
lution of antidrug coalitions around the country. A major goal that 
they have had, and that I think they have done an outstanding job 
of, is having integrated approaches that bring in not just the 
schools, not just the parents, not just the churches, but to mobilize 
an entire community in a single strategy. As far as we can tell 
from the scientific research that has been done, it is an effective 
strategy. 

Mrs. Mink. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. 

I now recognize the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Barr. 

Mr. Barr. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

First of all, Mr. Marshall, as always, thank you and the men and 
women of the DEA for the outstanding job that you do. I and my 
constituents deeply appreciate it. 

Put yourself, if you would for a moment, hypothetically, in the 
position of a State prosecutor in a State in which there are laws 
against pedophilia and rape. Would you take kindly to somebody 
who comes out with a study and says that pedophilia is OK; there- 
fore, I 'm going to go out there and spend huge sums of money try- 
ing to make it legal and encourage people to engage in it, or rape? 

Mr. Marshall. No, sir. 

Mr. Barr. Would you have any hesitancy in taking offense at 
that, notwithstanding their claims that this is simply an exercise 
of first amendment free speech? 

Mr. Marshall. I would take great offense, and I think it would 
be a ridiculous argument. 

Mr. Barr. Do you see that much of a distinction between those 
arguments and the arguments of the advocates of legalized drug 
usage? 

Mr. Marshall. Being a professional 30-year law enforcement 
person. Congressman, I have to confess that I do not see much dif- 
ference in it. 

Mr. Barr. Thank you. 

One of the things that I look at, for example, is consistency, and 
I think that is very important as a professional law enforcement 
agent. Recently, it has come to our attention that the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Defense is finalizing regulations to allow for the use of pe- 
yote on military bases by military personnel for so-called religious 
purposes. Is it your understanding that peyote remains a Schedule 



146 


I controlled substance under the laws of the United States of Amer- 
ica? 

Mr. Marshall. Congressman, I believe that it is. However, I be- 
lieve there may be some religious exemptions for Native Ameri- 
cans. I am not aware of the issue with the Department of Defense. 
But I believe it does remain a Schedule I. If I could verify that and 
get back to you. 

Mr. Barr. Because, it is in the criminal code. If in fact, the mili- 
tary allows this and if, thereafter, somebody in DEA were to come 
to you and say, I believe as part of my religious practice and my 
Native American heritage that I should be allowed to smoke pe- 
yote, would you see that as inconsistent with their duty as a sworn 
law enforcement officer with jurisdiction to enforce the controlled 
substances laws of the United States? 

Mr. Marshall. I'm sorry, are you talking about military, sir, or 
law enforcement? 

Mr. Barr. No, if there were a DEA agent who came to you and 
said, I believe that as part of my religious practice, what I deem 
a religious practice, I'm going to start smoking peyote. I under- 
stand that it is now allowed in the military. Would that to you be 
consistent with or inconsistent with their sworn duty as a law en- 
forcement officer with jurisdiction over enforcing our Federal drug 
laws? 

Mr. Marshall. Congressman, I would be very, very troubled by 
that. However, I think I would have to look at the religious exemp- 
tion and the origins of that law to make a final decision. But I 
would be very, very troubled with that. 

Mr. Barr. I would hope so, and I would certainly think so. 

Dr. Leshner, I referred earlier to this volume. Marijuana and 
Medicine, that you may or may not be familiar with. We have in- 
serted it into the record. There is quite a lengthy discussion about 
a lot of the harmful effects of marijuana usage, including several 
chapters here on its very serious detrimental effect on reproduc- 
tion, human reproductivity, and in particular its effect on— and 
they have some very interesting slides, similar to the scientific 
slides that you presented here— on spermatozoa and the abnormali- 
ties that result from particularly extended marijuana usage. Are 
you familiar with those studies? 

Dr. Leshner. I am somewhat familiar with them. I am not sure 
I am familiar with all of the studies that have been done, but a 
great deal of work has, of course, been done on the metabolic con- 
sequences of marijuana use. 

Mr. Barr. Are you familiar enough to give us your opinion on 
whether or not there are detrimental effects on human reproductiv- 
ity by the extended use of marijuana? 

Dr. Leshner. I think it is not clear, sir. There is a substantial 
body of literature in animal subjects that suggests that Delta-9 
THC can decrease pituitary prolactin and can, in fact, interfere 
with cycling in female rodents. I think some studies have been 
done in humans that confirm that kind of interpretation. But, as 
a scientist, I have to say that I am not sure all of that research 
has actually been done. 

Mr. Barr. I would recommend you, if you could, take a look at 
some of the research in here. I am certainly not a medical doctor 



147 


or a scientist, but they present some compelling— both textual ma- 
terial as well as some graphs and pictures showing that there in- 
deed seems to be a very clear link. 

Could you just very briefly explain— I noticed the chart that you 
have up here on methamphetamines. We have been focusing par- 
ticularly this morning on marijuana, maybe to the detriment of 
some of these other drugs. Could you— and you may have already 
done this. If you have, I apologize. But by the same token I think 
that this bears repeating. 

Could you just briefly explain for me and for anybody who might 
be listening or read the record of this case what that depiction of 
the four— they are not photographs but brain scans regarding 
methamphetami ne use represents? 

Dr. Leshner. They are— and if you will indulge me, given the 
comments earlier this morning about Ecstasy, I would also like to 
take just a minute and tell you about the other poster as well, 
which I did mention in my oral statement. The measure here— 
bright colors are more, dull colors are less— is the ability to use a 
substance in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine is necessary for 
normal cognitive functioning and the normal experience of pleas- 
ure. It is a very important neurochemical substance. 

What you see on the left is the ability to bind dopamine in a con- 
trol, in this case a normal individual. The second scan is the brain 
of the methamphetami ne abuser 3 years after that individual 
stopped using methamphetami ne. The third is a methcathinone ad- 
dict 3 years later. The fourth is a newly diagnosed Parkinson's dis- 
ease patient. As you know, Parkinson's is a dopamine abnormality 
as wdl, although it affects a different part of the brain. 

What is significant here is that you are seeing a very long-lasting 
effect of drug use that persists long after the individual has 
stopped using the drugs. What is important about the particular 
brain change is that it could account for some of the mood alter- 
ations and certainly the psych otic- 1 ike behavior that persists after 
methamphetami ne use long after the individual stops using it. 

The other chart, which actually you may have seen a related 
study reported in the press just yesterday, is the first demonstra- 
tion in humans— this is the first demonstration in humans on 
methamphetami ne, by the way— the first demonstration in humans 
of the persistent effects of Ecstasy use. MDMA is Ecstasy. What 
you are seeing here on the top is a control individual, a normal in- 
dividual. The measure here is the ability to bind another 
neurochemical called serotonin. Seratonin is critical to normal ex- 
periences of mood. As you may know, antidepressants can modify 
serotonin binding. 

So there is a normal individual on top. The bottom is an Ecstasy 
user. In this case it is 3 weeks after that individual has stopped 
using Ecstasy. What you are seeing here is a persistent decrease 
in the ability of the brain to bind this very important neuro- 
chemical substance. 

The study published yesterday actually showed in primates— I 
am not sure how you would do this in humans— but showed in pri- 
mates a virtually identical effect 7 years after the primates were 
given MDMA. So that the point that I have been making is that 
drug use has an effect not only acutely, not only in the chronic use 



148 


condition, but that it has persistent effects that last long after the 
individual stops using drugs. 

Mr. Barr. Would the same hold for extended marijuana usage? 

Dr. Leshner. We don't know in detail. 

We know in great detail— and the question was asked earlier this 
morning, and I would be pleased to submit information on that for 
the record— we know in great detail the mechanisms by which 
marijuana exerts its acute effects in the brain, its short-term ef- 
fects. We do know that in long-term marijuana users there are per- 
sistent behavioral effects that persist 48 to 72 hours after the indi- 
vidual stops using marijuana. But, as far as I know, no studies 
have been done analogous to this that are looking so far out after 
marijuana use. 

Mr. Barr. Thank you. Dr. Leshner. Thank you, Mr. Marshall. 

Mr. Mica. I would like to thank both of you. We have additional 
questions which we would like to submit to you for the record. I 
would also like to leave the record open for at least 2 weeks for you 
to submit additional information. 

Someone commented that if we could get these charts to every 
parent in America, we probably would have a lot less drug use, 
when people could see the actual effects on their body and on their 
brains. 

Dr. Leshner. We are trying, sir. We are trying to do exactly 
that. 

Mr. Mica. It is very revealing. Quite shocking. 

I would also be interested if you can supply us with any similar 
information on the effects of marijuana, if you do come across that. 

I think that would be interesting to have. Also, these other drugs 
we will put in as part of the record. 

Dr. Leshner. We will provide you with information on that. 

Mr. Mica. I would like to thank both of you. We will submit ad- 
ditional questions. 

I would like to call our third panel at this time and excuse the 
second panel. 

Our third panel today consists of Mr. J ames McDonough, the di- 
rector of the Office of Drug Control Policy of the State of Florida; 
Mr. Scott Ehlers, the senior policy analyst at the Drug Policy Foun- 
dation; Mr. Robert L. Maginnis, a senior director of the Family Re- 
search Council; Mr. David Boaz, executive vice president of the 
Cato Institute; and Mr. Ira Glasser, the executive director of the 
American Civil Liberties Union. 

I am pleased that all of you have joined us today. As I indicated 
before, our subcommittee is an investigative and oversight panel of 
Congress. We do swear in our witnesses. If you wouldn't mind 
standing and raising your right hands. 

[Witnesses sworn.] 

Mr. Mica. I thank the witnesses. They have all answered in the 
affirmative. 

I will also point out, most of you are new to the panel, we do ask 
that any lengthy statements or additional information you would 
like to submit to the record, we do so upon request, and that we 
try to limit our oral presentations to 5 minutes. You will see a little 
light there. We try to be a bit flexible. 



149 


With those comments in mind, I would like to first recognize and 
welcome to our subcommittee Mr. J ames McDonough, the director 
of the Office of Drug Control Policy created by the new Governor 
of the State of Florida. Mr. McDonough, welcome, and you are rec- 
ognized, sir. 

STATEMENTS OF J AMES MCDONOUGH, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF 

DRUG CONTROL POLICY, STATE OF FLORIDA; SCOTT 

EHLERS, SENIOR POLICY ANALYST, DRUG POLICY FOUNDA- 
TION; ROBERT L. MAGINNIS, SENIOR DIRECTOR, FAMILY RE- 
SEARCH COUNCIL; DAVID BOAZ, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESI- 
DENT, CATO INSTITUTE; AND IRA GLASSER, EXECUTIVE DI- 
RECTOR, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION 

Mr. McDonough. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is an 
honor to be here. 

I would like to submit my statement for the record and save you 
the time not going through it. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, it will be made part of the record. 

Mr. McDonough. I just wanted to say a few things about my ob- 
servations of drug use in the United States and particularly in the 
State of Florida where I now, as you have pointed out, have been 
tasked to coordinate all drug efforts, to bring down that abuse rate. 
Prior to that time I worked here in Washington in the National 
Drug Control Office to see what I could do to help the national con- 
cerns about drug abuse. 

I will tell you that Florida has a bad problem with drugs. It has 
enough of a problem right now that I feel any legalization of drugs 
would only exacerbate drug abuse further. I note that we have by 
my account some 8 percent of our people in Florida currently using 
drugs. This does not fare well compared to the national average, 
about 6 percent. 

I have looked further. The last existing surveys in Florida which 
date to 1995, show me that we are about 25 percent above the na- 
tional average with our youth use. So we have a problem across the 
board, and we have a particular problem with youths. 

I think one of the reasons why we have such a problem is the 
vast supply of drugs coming through the State. I have taken a look 
at that, over the first 90 days that I have been in office down there, 
by going around the State. What I see, quite frankly, is shocking. 
In this past year, we note that the heroin death rate in Florida has 
gone up 51 percent in only 1 year. This is just an enormous rise 
in the statistics in only 1 year. It makes one shudder as to how it 
is going to look over the long term. 

The cocaine-related deaths in the State are also up a horrific ex- 
tent. We are talking about in the last 6 years, a 65 percent in- 
crease in the cocaine- related death rate. This now means that with 
over 1,100 deaths a year, that statistic exceeds the murder rate in 
Florida. 

Flaving said that, indications are that a big part of this is related 
to the amount of drugs flowing through the State. I have a note 
that last year. Customs reported that some 60 to 65 percent of the 
cocaine it seized in total, nationally, was seized in Florida. I am 
trying to point out that there are several factors for the abnormal 



150 


rate of drug use in the State. But one of the factors I am certain 
is the supply of drugs. 

I might add that I have spent most of my initial time in the 
State going around the various areas meeting with the civic lead- 
ers, the local leaders, the media, and a significant portion of the 
time getting into the treatment centers to see what the people who 
are addicted to drugs have to say. It is remarkably revealing to me, 
something I also saw when I worked at the national level. 

When you go into a treatment center where you are seeing peo- 
ple in their 20's, 30's or 40's, by the way some in their teens who 
have really suffered a lot in their lives and brought a lot of suffer- 
ing on other people, who have committed the majority of the crimes 
in the State, there is a couple of messages that they give you. 

The first message is, and I don't endorse this message, but the 
first thing they tend to tell you as a group is, "I'm a wreck. I have 
hurt a lot of people in my life. I 'm a failure." 

The next thing they tell you— they don't really tell you, they ask 
you, they ask you for help. They say, unless you get me the treat- 
ment, I 'm a goner. I don't want to die. Please, please, we need help, 
or I need help. 

When I ask them what got them started on drugs, it invariably 
goes back to their youth. Usually, it is their early youth. They tell 
me, yeah, I smoked; yeah, I drank; marijuana was my initial drug. 
They tell me they started this at 12, 13, 14. 

When I ask them, well, would it have been any different if these 
drugs were legal, they say, "Absolutely not. The last thing we need 
is the legalization of marijuana. It is marijuana that got me here." 
Probably that phrase is the one I hear most often. I will tell you 
I have yet to hear from any addict talking to me saying, you know, 
if only drugs had been legal, I wouldn't be in the shape I am today. 

I might add, on a much more graphic note, when I listen to par- 
ents, I have no parent of a child that has suffered from the abuse 
of drugs, died from an overdose or caused untold grief on the family 
say, "if only the drugs had been legal, my child would not have 
been caught up in this." 

So my observation is, the last thing Florida needs, and I would 
extrapolate that, the last thing the country needs, is the legaliza- 
tion of illicit drugs. Thank you. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. McDonough follows:] 



151 


TESTIMONY OF JAMES R. MCDONOUGH BEFORE THE GOVERNMENT REFORM 
COMMITTEE’S SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE, DRUG POLICY AND 
HUMAN RESOURCES 

DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF DRUG CONTROL 
STATE OF FLORIDA 

16 JUNE 1999 


Chairman Mica, Congressman Waxman, thank you for the opportunity to testify before the 
Committee on the subject of drug legalization. 

Legalizing drugs is a notion to which I am steadfastly opposed. I came to this position after 
years of obser\’ation and study of the nature of drug addiction, and its horrific consequences for the 
addicted, their families, and society. The immense costs that drug addiction exact on our nation 
were driven home to me during my tenure as Director of Strategy for the White House Office of 
National Drug Control Policy. My recent experiences as the Director of Florida’s Office of Drug 
Control have only served to reinforce my beliefs on this matter. 

Florida does not need legalization to help it bring down its drug abuse problem. What it 
does need is a coordinated strategy with the right leadership and resourcing behind it that will bring 
down both the demand for and supply of drugs. 

Governor Jeb Bush has made it clear that doing just that is a high priority for his 
Administration. With him is the Florida Legislature, whose leadership in both the House and the 
Senate lias been lending their support to decreasing drug abuse in the state. The Judiciary has also 
given its support to some of the more innovative ways to break the nexus between drugs and crime, 
such as with the system of drug courts in Florida, the most extensive in the nation with 32 different 
drug courts in full operation or in the early stages of ramping up. And the Governor’s wife, 
Columba Bush, has also lent her persona to a number of public service announcements that inform 
and educate children and their mentors about the dangers of illegal drugs. 


1 



152 


This sort of leadership is timely, because Florida’s drug problem is serious. Statistics show 
that Florida’s children use drugs at a rate 20 percent higher than the rest of the nation. Indeed, the 
overall drug use rate in the state (for adults and children) is at about 8 percent, compared to the 
national average of 6.5 percent. Last year, Florida’s death rates from heroin abuse increased by 
over 50 percent from the year before; cocaine related deaths have increased 65 percent, bringing the 
total of those killed by drugs to more than the entire murder rate for the state. 

One of the reasons for this abnormally high rate of usage is the large supply of drugs that 
enter Florida from beyond its borders. Last year, Florida’s seaports seized between 60 to 65 percent 
of the entire amount of cocaine seized in the United States, more of a sign of the large volume of 
drugs coming in than of our efficiency in catching them. The Office of National Drug Control 
estimates that as much as 30 percent of all the drugs that enter the United States come across 
Florida’s international boundaries. Florida lies at the receiving end of several major transit routes 
for heroin and cocaine drug traffickers. Not only do a disproportionate amount of drugs make their 
way into our state, a large share of the money laundering transactions also take place on Florida’s 
soil. We have a serious problem, and we will need the help of the federal government to protect our 
borders and defend ourselves against the onslaught of the drug traffickers. 

But Florida has also been well-served by its citizens who have decided to take a stand 
against illegal drugs. Throughout the state, community coalitions and neighborhood associations 
have stood up to the menace of illegal drugs. And where they have taken a stand, the results have 
been impressive. Miami-Dade County, for example, has brought their drug abuse rates down to less 
than one half of the rest of the state by bringing together prevention, education, intervention, and 
treatment efforts together under its Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community and formed 
partnerships with law enforcement agencies and the business community. In St. Petersburg and 
Tampa, agencies like PAR and DACCO work in conjunction with the very active local drug courts 
in providing treatment to non-violent addicted offenders and consequently bringing down 
recidivism crime rates appreciably. 

There are nonetheless organizations and individuals in the United States who favor 
legalization, seemingly in spite of the efforts of so many concerned Floridians, as well as the efforts 


2 



153 


of countless thousands of other concerned and compassionate citizens across our nation, who 
understand that keeping harmful drugs illegal is the only sensible way to curtail their wake of 
destruction. But the pro-drug advocates persist despite the clear rejection of the idea of drug 
legalization by millions of Americans, and the obvious negative consequences of drug addiction. 

These "legalizers” span the philosophical spectrum, and their motivations stem from a 
variety of view's, rationales and desires. Some legalizers argue (wrongly) that it is our only viable 
alternative, since all attempts to eliminate drug abuse in the United States have failed. Others in the 
legalization camp argue - contrary to empirical evidence - that drugs do not harm people, rather that 
the harm comes from the prohibition of drugs. Many advocates of legalization are well intentioned, 
believing that their approach will ultimately help — not hurt - our society. A few are less well 
intentioned, being driven in some instances by a desire to see drug use expand. However - and I 
want to state this as emphatically as I can - the legalizers are wrong, and their advocacy for the 
legalization of drugs threatens the well being of our nation. 

Simply put, drugs are not harmful because they are illegal. They are illegal because they are 
harmful Indeed, a high proportion of society's ills - crime, family disintegration, child and spouse 
abuse, workplace productivity losses, community deterioration and violence, and, ultimately, the 
physical and financial ruin visited on millions of our fellow citizens - can be directly tied to the use 
of harmful drugs, and not to the laws that wisely prohibit them. 

Arguments that purport the opposite view are disingenuous and shopworn. Whether 
libertarian in philosophy or pseudo-logical in pretext, the tone of legalization advocates is strikingly 
similar - arrogant dismissal of the views held by the majority of Americans that drugs are a danger 
to our citizens, ruinous of our neighborhoods and communities, and non-sensical as 
"entertainment.” Let me take a few moments to briefly examine - and dispel - some of the usual 
claims put forth by the legalizers: 

Legalizers will claim that the “drug war” has been lost, that we need to stop wasting 
resources in fighting it. In reality. The National Drug Control Strategy explicitly rejects the “war” 


3 



154 


metaphor. The Strategy points out, accurately, that drug use in America is down by 50% since 1979, 
and cocaine addiction is down by 75% since 1982. These statistics clearly demonstrate that when 
we as a nation resolve to bring down drug abuse, we succeed. 

The legalizers will claim that the fact that alcohol and tobacco, both legal substances for 
adults, cause so much harm to society suggests that we make drugs legal as well. A simple 
response to this claim is that it would seem, according to their logic, that we can’t get too much of a 
bad thing. Moreover, the analogy is false. Law enforcement experts and prison statistics indicate 
that drug abuse is directly or indirectly related to upwards of 60 to 80 percent of crime in America. 

Whenever drug use is high, so too is crime. For example, in neighborhoods that have 
elected to sponsor so-called “needle-exchange” programs (in effect, needle-give away programs 
where drug abuse is de-facto decriminalized), prostitution, thefts, burglaries, and other crimes 
against property skyrocket. And oh, by the way - drug abuse and, more often than not, HIV 
infection rates also go up. The simple reality is that people addicted to drugs will do whatever it 
takes to get the money to buy the drugs they crave. Making drugs legal won’t change that reality. 

It would only lead to increased drug usage, more addicts, and worsened social problems. 

Legalizers will also claim that other countries, such as Holland or Switzerland, have shown 
what enlightened government policies towards drugs can do. The reality is that the United States is 
neither Holland nor Switzerland. We should not attempt to model our drug attitudes after what the 
majority of their neighbors, as well as a sizeable percentage of their own citizens and drug experts, 
see as abysmal failures. The current edition of Foreign Affairs has an excellent article by Larry 
Collins on the Dutch experience and the damage done by the presumably good intentions of “harm 
reduction” and “decriminalization” advocates. The experience of countries that have tried the 
legalization approach has been increased crime, overdoses, and youth usage rates. 

Government should not be in the business of stupefying its citizens and sedating its drug 
addicts unto death. What glimmer of compassion, what spark of respect for the sanctity of human 
dignity lies in policies of “heroin maintenance?” Spare our great country such folly. 


4 



155 


A favorite claim of legaiizers is that marijuana is not a “gateway” drug. It causes no harm, 
they say. The simple truth is that the correlation between marijuana use, and the use of other drugs, 
such as heroin and cocaine, is overwhelming. Joseph Califano’s Center on Addiction and 
Substance Abuse study concludes that for children who smoke, drink and use marijuana, the 
probability they will “graduate” to heroin or cocaine as an adult is eighty times greater. According 
to the National Drug Control Strategy, youth violence, property crimes, and truancy rates in school 
go up in direct proportion to the frequency of marijuana use. In scores of treatment centers, when I 
have asked resident addicts how they began their nightmare with drugs, the overwhelming answer 
is, “Marijuana.” When I ask them if it is a harmless drug, the overwhelming response is “No, it got 
me to where I am today.” It is for good reason that Barry McCaffrey, the nation’s drug czar, warns 
that marijuana is our most dangerous drug. 

Legaiizers will often attempt to draw a historical analogy by claiming that the Prohibition 
era is an example of why we should legalize drugs. Look at all the trouble it caused. Prohibition 
brought us A1 Capone and tommy guns. When Prohibition went away, so did high crime rates. In 
fact, after the end of Prohibition crime in general went up, along with a deterioration of public 
health. Indeed, the simple truth is that crime rates have been coming down in America for the past 
decade. Unfortunately, crimes committed by juveniles is the one area which has experienced 
increases during this same period of overall decline in crime rates. It is no coincidence that this 
increase has occurred at the same time that youth drug use has been increasing. It is 
incontrovertible that drugged individuals or those needing money for drugs commit crimes at 
disproportionate rates. The overwhelming majority of child abuse and spouse abuse cases can be 
tied to drugs and alcohol abuse. That legalization would bring down crime is wishful thinking. 

Another shopworn claim that legaiizers frequently use is that if drugs are virtually 
ubiquitous in our society, then why not reap a windfall in potential revenue by legalizing drugs and 
then taxing them? As obvious as any number of responses are to this ridiculous assertion, let us 
first consider the plausibility of international narcotics cartels giving up their phenomenally 


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lucrative activities to accept lower profits while simultaneously paying taxes to the United States 
Government. 

It is important to remember that even with regulation, legalized gambling, for instance, has 
not eliminated illegal gambling. Even more ludicrous to contemplate, under the banner of 
legalization, would be the effort required in creating a regulatory bureaucracy for administering and 
enforcing tariffs on both foreign and domestic producers. There would also be a myriad of issues 
involved with setting minimum use age, what drugs would be available and to whom, and countless 
other matters. Such endeavors would be bad policy, poor policy, and disastrous social 
irresponsibility. 

Illusory tax receipts notwithstanding, we as a society would pay out enormous increases in 
increased medical expenses due to the incredibly deleterious effects drugs wreak on people. It is 
doubtful that increased availability, potentially lower cost and the removal of criminal sanction 
would not foster an explosion in usage. While government taxes tobacco, for instance, tax receipts 
are only a fraction (as little as one-sixth according to one study) of the costs to society exacted by 
the effects of smoking - and illegal drugs are typically far more injurious to one’s health and life 
style than cigarettes. 

The myths offered by the legalizers feed and reinforce the misperceptions generally held by 
the public as regards the debate over illegal drugs. For instance, many citizens believe that drugs 
are a problem only for certain parts of our culture - inner city residents, the poor, those lacking 
education, and the otherwise disadvantaged. Somehow, those who hold such views deny their own 
family's risk to the prevalence of drugs. 

The simple reality is that drugs threaten our entire society. No neighborhood is safe. The 
nodal heroin overdose fatality is a white male, and some of the heaviest concentrations of drug 
addiction can be found amongst some of this nation’s most upscale social and professional enclaves, 
whose denizens mistakenly believe that they can “handle it.” The children of the well to do are 
more apt to try drugs than the poor. Minorities are less inclined to use drugs than are whites. 


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Drugs are everywhere and contaminate all segments of our society, no matter what an 
individual’s income, educational background, or ethnicity. Legalizing drugs, therefore, would only 
exacerbate their availability. As exposed as our children are today to the threat of drug abuse, 
making drugs legal would only make them more available to youth. 

Nor is it true, as so many assume, that most drug users are unemployed. Research shows 
that over seventy percent of those who abuse drugs are employed. Productivity losses due to 
absenteeism, inefficiency, and workplace accidents already cost businesses egregious losses. 
Consider the effects of legalizing drugs on American enterprise. It is prevention and treatment - not 
legalization - that would better help employees, and thereby the businesses they work for. 

Faced with such realities it is hard to advance to an educated public the specious arguments 
for more drugs. Instead, legalizers are forced to turn to a variety of ploys to gain support for a pro- 
drug agenda. One of these ploys is “marijuana as therapy.” Step One is to label pot as “medical 
marijuana,” much like granddad labeled his “medicinal whiskey.” Step Two is to cry foul against 
medical research protocols that demand peer review to ensure scientific worthiness for proposed 
research projects (most medical scientists, admittedly, would rather research more promising 
pharmaceuticals) while citing endless anecdotes - usually cast in emotive compassion for the 
afflicted - that “proves” smoked marijuana is a health aid. Steps Three and Four are to pour money, 
big money, behind grass roots campaigns that appeal for votes for more “medicine” for the ill and 
suffering, while seizing upon any suggestion at all that THC, the active chemical component of 
marijuana, may lead to a relief of symptoms , and then implying that relief applies to the underlying 
illness. The result is a false claim that medical science is supportive in decreeing marijuana as the 
only smoked “medicine” in American pharmacological history. 

The spin put by the legalizers on the recent Institute of Medicine review of existing literature 
on marijuana research is a case in point. This reputable study by the Institute saw little future in 
smoked marijuana because of its negative side effects, doubtful efficiency and uncertain safety. 
Nevertheless, supporters of smoked marijuana nevertheless jumped on the suggestion in the report 


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Staling that, in certain extreme conditions and only under controlled chemical conditions, should 
limited use of marijuana be allowed. Dropped from their depiction of the study were key factors of 
the report: that THC is readily available now as a prescription drug (i.e., Marinol); that several 
anecdotal claims of relief were unsupported (e.g., glaucoma is relieved by marijuana); and that 
research should continue so that a non-smoked, vaporized, purified inhalant might be developed in 
lieu of smoke from an impure weed. In short, those who so plainly wrap themselves in sacred appeal 
to marijuana as medicine continue to gloss over the findings of medical science that what benefit may 
be found in the marijuana plant is limited to THC, and then only when purified, measured, and 
delivered in non-smoke form. So far, what the marijumia advocates have succeeded in doing is 
propagandizing their pro-drug agenda as socially acceptable even while ensuring that research efforts 
(with greater potentials for aiding the many ailments they claim marijuana will help) see their 
available funds diverted to the less promising, more dubious marijuana fields. 

In such ways, marijuana (now recast as medical in nature) serves as a stalking horse for the 
legalization of drugs. The real arena is not medical at all, but political. And politics is driven by 
money, of which ample amounts will be made available to carry the legalizer’s case into ever more 
state campaign initiatives. Why so much money is dedicated to such a dubious cause is a vexing 
question. Surely there are better things great wealth can buy. 

We should not, however, be discouraged. Americans have an uncanny ability at getting at 
the truth over time. We now have several states whose electorates have been convinced to advocate 
“medical marijuana.” We have been down such paths before. Alaska, for example, decided in 1975 
to “decriminalize” marijuana for personal home use, only to see that decision reversed in 1990 by 
popular referendum as its citizens recoiled in horror at the resulting rise in adolescent drug abuse 
during the intervening fifteen years. 

Unfortunately, the most harm caused by the perception that “pot is ok” is most clearly seen 
in youth attitudes about the potential harm of marijuana and drugs. In a decade that has seen heavy 
outside campaign money back electoral appeals for medical marijuana we have seen youth 


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perceptions of the dangers of drugs decrease. As a clarion predictor of future behavior, youth 
attitudes clearly delineate future youth use rates. 

This seductive change in attitude is perhaps best represented in the growth of the Rave 
phenomenon. Rave clubs target young people with an appeal to all night dancing and partying in an 
atmosphere of heavy “techno-music” and psychedelic light shows. The typical age range at a Rave 
is late teens through early twenties, but it is not uncommon to find children as young as twelve at 
these events. Attendance at Raves typically ranges in size fix>m as few as a hundred or so young 
people dancing in small regular clubs which advertise “no alcohol” and stay open after hours, to a 
couple thousand youth in outdoor Raves which resemble rock concert events. Oftentimes, Rave 
parties are advertised well in advance of the actual date, giving time for the word to spread through 
the community. 

While many American youth are initially drawn towards the cachet of what Rave clubs 
represent (this avant-garde social phenomenon originated in the U.K. in the late 1980’s before 
moving on to North America), many parents mistakenly see these clubs as “safe” venues, 
alternatives to roaming around on the unsafe streets. What makes Raves dangerous however is that 
they serve to popularize reckless youth attitudes towards not only newer so-called designer drug use 
- drugs like ecstasy and GHB - but also more established illegal drugs such as heroin, crack cocaine 
and marijuana. 

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the Rave phenomenon, however, is the manner in 
which drug use at these dances is acknowledged, abetted and profited from by the Rave club 
owners. Rave’s typically sell - at usually very high mark-ups - a rather bizarre assortment of items 
not normally associated with drug abuse, such as pacifiers, Vicks inhalers, colored light strips and 
glasses, as well as certain types of hard candy, like lollipops. However, when viewed in light of 
how these seemingly innocuous items enhance the effects of drugs like Ecstasy, it is clear why the 
promoters on the premises routinely sell these items. 


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Much like the drug cartels in their attitude and focus, the behavior of the Rave club 
operators clearly shows the cynical marketing of a seductive lifestyle and attitude which, in effect, 
strongly facilitates drug abuse by our children in the name of quick and substantial profits for the 
owners. 


Even with clear signals from responsible civic leadership to America’s youth that drugs are 
not safe and therefore illegal, such repellant environments as present in modem day Rave clubs 
have achieved a strong appeal to the yoimg. Legalization of drugs like marijuana and others would 
only tend to exacerbate youth attitudes that drags were “fim” and acceptable for personal use. 

CONCLUSION 

Despite many concerned Americans best efforts to educate the public about the danger of 
illegal drugs, there is a concerted effort by a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations to 
push a pro-legalization agenda. Drugs are illegal simply because they are harmful Despite this 
basic truth, various myths, as outlined above, continue to be perpetrated by the legalization and 
“harm reduction” forces on a public which, though largely uneducated as to specifics, remains 
broadly anti-drug in its beliefs. 

At the core of legalizer attempts to make drugs legal and available is the concept of 
“normalization.” The idea is to make drug use seem normal, as opposed to the abnormality it truly 
is. Normalcy is the underlying theme in the many recitations by the legalizers: alcohol’s legal, why 
not drugs?; the Dutch do it and it has not hurt them, why shouldn’t we try it?; marijuana is 
medically beneficial, so why outlaw it?; people are using drugs anyway, so why make them 
criminals by prohibiting their drug use?; drags are everywhere, so why not regulate their use and 
let the government get some tax revenue from its sale? 

There is little subtlety in these drum beats. Drags are everywhere, we all use them, they’re 
good for you, and other nations accept them. The suggestion is that drug use is normal, only 
government prohibition of them is abnormal, and it hurts our citizens to levy laws against drug use. 


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But the claim of normalcy is patently false. Over ninety percent of Americans do not use 
drugs. The overwhelming majority of children do not use drugs. Even at their most risk prone and 
rebellious years, seventy-five percent or more of adolescents do not use drugs. And of the millions 
who experimented with drugs in the 1960’s and 1970’s, most have succeeded in breaking away 
from their habits. 

Unfortunately, not all have succeeded in breaking their drug habit - in this decade alone 
over 1 10,000 of our citizens have died from their drug use. Across this nation, over four million of 
our citizens are trapped in their addiction, many of these addicts no doubt already experiencing a 
life of failed health and social and economic ruin, and the remainder facing much the same unless 
they get help. 

No, drug use is not normal. The theme of normalcy is bankrupt. Only by its oft repetition 
does it begin to resonate, but even then with only a small minority of Americans. 

We must constantly remind ourselves that the struggle against drug abuse has not been 
“lost.” In fact, statistics bear out a much different reality, which is that despite alarming increases 
in youth usage rates in the 1 990’s overall drug use is down substantially since 1 979. Also, while it 
may be true that other unhealthy substances are legal, such as tobacco and alcohol, the notion that 
drugs should be therefore also made legal ignores the fact that a tremendous amount of criminality 
is tied to drug abuse. It is therefore axiomatic that increases in overall usage would bring increases 
in criminality, as addicts seek to feed their cravings. 

This link between increased social disorder and crime, and soaring drug usage rates is 
clearly demonstrated in the 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. The 1999 ONDCP 
National Strategy summarized the NHSDA findings on marijuana use and anti-social behavior as 
the following: “For youth aged twelve to seventeen, those who smoked marijuana within the past 
year were more than twice as likely to cut class, steal, attack people, and destroy property than were 
those who did not smoke marijuana.” 


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That marijuana spearheads increases in social pathology in youth users should come as no 
surprise because marijuana, despite the best efforts of the legalizers to portray it otherwise, is not a 
“soft” or harmless drug. It has been conclusively demonstrated to be the “most dangerous drug” in 
America precisely because it does serve, most particul^ly for young people, as an introductory drug 
to other types of addictions. In short, increased marijuana use by young people will translate, over 
time, into both substantial increases in overall drug use of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and 
others as well as the overall crime rate for the United States. 

Finally, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, legalizers engage in what amounts 
to intellectual chicanery when they continually tout the benefits of smoked marijuana as 
“medicine." Until medical science determines that smoked marijuana can pass muster as 
“medicine” in the most advanced society on the globe, with the best medical care that the world has 
ever seen, we should refrain from dignifying marijuana as anything more than what it is - a harmful 
drug which addicts invariably claim as their initiation into a life of ruin. The medical marijuana 
issue can only be viewed as a stalking horse for the legalization of drugs. 

As Florida is concerned, my state can and will do much to overcome the bad experience it 
has suffered in recent years from illegal drugs. It does not intend to meet the challenge by making 
drugs legal. Instead, it will give to its citizens the support they have requested in educating the 
public as to the dangers of drugs, providing for more education, prevention, and treatment, and 
empowering law enforcement and the judiciary systems to deal with those who would deal in drugs. 
In partnership with the federal government, Florida intends to deal with the drug challenge 
responsibly, making our state a better place for all to live, work in, and visit. 

The American people overwhelmingly reject drugs. They don’t want to see their children 
become addicts, even if the government should promise to subsidize their habit. In the end, I have 
every reason to believe that, properly informed, we as a nation will reject the bad idea that a free 
drug America makes for a better place to live than a drug free America. Hearings such as this are a 
positive step in placing information before our citizens. I thank you for the opportunity to testify. 


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Mr. Mica. We will withhold questions. 

I would like to recognize next Mr. Ira Glasser, the executive di- 
rector of the American Civil Liberties Union. 

You are recognized, sir. Welcome. 

Mr. Glasser. Thank you. 

I ask to have my testimony which I have delivered to the com- 
mittee be submitted for the record, and then I will summarize. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, that entire statement will be made 
a part of the record. 

Mr. Glasser. Thank you. 

Let me speak to the three named topics of this hearing, to harm 
reduction, to criminalization and to l^alization. These terms are 
thrown around a lot by a lot of different people. It is not always 
clear what they mean. So I want you to be clear what I mean. 

There are two kinds of harms associated with drugs. One set is 
caused by the drugs themselves. That is mostly what we have been 
talking about today. It is important to say, and we have not heard 
much of that today, that those harms vary widely, depending on 
the particular drug, depending on its potency, depending on its pu- 
rity, depending on its dosage, depending on the circumstances and 
the frequency of its use. 

There is no such thing as harms from drugs; there are only 
harms from particular drugs used in particular ways, in particular 
frequencies at particular dosages. 

We have also not heard, but I think it is important when you are 
making policy, distinctions between use and abuse. We have heard 
just now, for example, that no parent would say, "If only drugs 
were legal," if they had a child who overdosed from drugs. I am the 
parent of four children who grew up in the middle of Manhattan. 

I agree with that. I would be very distraught if one of my kids had 
died from an overdose of drugs. 

But I tell you what I would say as a parent and what I have 
heard many parents say when their kids are not drug abusers but 
maybe smoked a marijuana joint when they were 16 in the same 
way as they may have tried a beer. Both of them are illegal at the 
age of 16. But these kids were under control, they used it mod- 
erately once in a while, they did well in school, they did well in 
sports, and they grew up to be stable, productive kids. Those par- 
ents were not real happy about the law. 

When my 15-year-old came to me, 20 years ago now, and said, 
"I'm smoking marijuana, what should I do about it?" I talked to 
him as I would have if he told me he was drinking beer. And then 
I told him one other thing. I said, you have two additional dangers 
from marijuana that you don't have from beer. One of them is you 
can get arrested for it, and the other is you don't know what you're 
getting on the street because it's totally unregulated. And it is only 
for those two reasons and not for any other reasons, not for any 
pharmacological reasons, that I was more concerned about his use 
of marijuana than I was about his use of beer. 

Kids can be destroyed in a lot of ways. Frankly, I don't need the 
government's help in raising my children; and I don't want the gov- 
ernment's intervention, particularly with the police power of the 
State. 



164 


I had real concerns about my kids drinking too much. But that 
had nothing to do with legality or illegality. It had to do with 
teaching children the responsible use of dangerous substances. 

And it is critical when you are making policy to make distinc- 
tions, I think, between use and abuse. There are 70 million people, 
most of them adults, in this country who have admitted to using 
marijuana; and virtually all of them have done so while maintain- 
ing productive and stable lives. Most of them you wouldn't even 
know they had smoked marijuana. 

It used to be said, 15 years ago, that every family had somebody 
gay in their family, only they didn't know it. That is true of mari- 
juana use today. We hear the stories of the abuse, but we don't 
hear the stories of the use, we don't hear the stories of controlled 
use, of moderate use, of long-term use, within lives that are other- 
wise stable and productive. 

One of the questions we have to ask ourselves is, do we want to 
make those people criminals out of the concern for people who are 
abusing drugs? Those are very important differences. 

The second kind of harm is the harm associated with the law 
itself. Our laws, which are criminal prohibition laws for the most 
part, create problems, just as they did during alcohol prohibition, 
that the drugs themselves do not cause. Al Capone did not shoot 
people because he was drunk, and most drug dealers are not shoot- 
ing people because they are high. There are many studies which 
show that. It makes sense. Everybody knows that Al Capone didn't 
shoot people because he was drunk. He was settling commercial 
disputes with weapons in the streets because that is what prohibi- 
tion requires you to do because you can't settle disputes through 
the law. 

The random, escalating violence in our streets is not caused by 
the drugs. It is certainly not caused by marijuana, which if any- 
thing makes people less aggressive. It is caused by making com- 
mercial transactions which we cannot prevent be settled outside 
the law with violence in a way that endangers all sorts of people, 
including innocent bystanders. 

Now, criminalization and legalization. Criminalization means the 
attempt by society to control the availability of drugs in order to 
deal with drug abuse; to control the availability through criminal 
prohibitions with heavy penalties by interdiction and by deterring 
commercial transactions. That is what criminal prohibition is. That 
is what criminalization is. 

We ought to be assessing whether criminal prohibition works, 
not on the basis of moral fervor about drug use and certainly not 
on the basis of a concern about drug abuse which criminalizes drug 
users who have no problem. We ought to be assessing whether, in 
fact, it reduces drug availability, whether, in fact, it deters com- 
mercial transactions and whether perhaps it doesn't create harms 
that didn't exist there before. 

Legalization refers to an alternative system. I want to say this 
very carefully. Legalization refers to an alternative system of con- 
trolling the availability and safety of drugs. It means that you have 
regulations of various kinds instead of criminal prohibition. 

You cannot regulate what you are trying to prohibit because, by 
definition, when you prohibit, you are putting it outside the law. 



165 


Regulations can range from medical prescriptions for things like 
Prozac and valium, and it can range from more restrictive kinds of 
medical prescriptions like the use of morphine over a 2-week period 
for pain relief in a hospital setting; and it can be regulations that 
are milder like those used for alcohol and tobacco. 

We would never say that, because there are 15 million alcoholics 
in this country, we should make criminals out of people who drink 
a bottle of wine at night with dinner or have a scotch after work. 
We would never say that, and this country would never accept it. 
And we would not even say, even to those 15 million who are alco- 
holics, that the way to deter you from being alcoholics and ruining 
your lives and the lives of the people around you is to put you in 
jail and arrest you. We don't say it with alcohol, we don't say it 
with tobacco, so why do we say it with marijuana, for example? It 
has to be that there is something much worse about marijuana use 
than there is about alcohol use and tobacco use. 

Part of the task, if you are going to really be objective and impar- 
tial about this, is to find out what exactly that is. And the science 
that we bring to bear on that has to be a science that is contested, 
that is peer reviewed and that is not the product of political conclu- 
sions drawn first with the scientific evidence marshaled to support 
it. 

There are books you have introduced today. There are other 
books you ought to be introducing. I can tell you what some of 
them are. I have read them all. 

As a nonscientist, I can tell you when you read them all, you find 
that the science is a lot more unsettled than we have heard here 
today and that, in fact, marijuana may be one of the mildest drugs 
and the least dangerous drugs and the least capable of abuse of all 
the drugs we are talking about, including those that are legal. So 
the question about why do you want to criminalize even heavy use 
users and, above all, why we want to criminalize productive users 
who are using it the way you use alcohol, is a heavy burden for 
a free society to bear. It is a burden I suggest you ought to take 
seriously. 

One final point. The enforcement of drug laws in this country has 
become an engine for the restoration of j im Crow justice. We have 
to talk about race when we are talking about the enforcement of 
drug laws. Maybe this is not inevitable and maybe it is not an in- 
evitable consequence of prohibition, but the racially disparate sen- 
tences between crack cocaine and powdered cocaine, the racially 
disparate arrests for the same offense, the racial profiling that goes 
on in drug interdiction on our highways of which we have heard 
so much of recently, the racial profiling in sentencing, the dis- 
proportionate number of black and Latino people who are in prison 
for the same offenses in the face of everybody telling us that most 
drug users and most drug addicts are white. As long ago as the 
early 1980's, William Bennett, one of General McCaffrey's prede- 
cessors, said 80 percent of the drug addicts and drug users are 
white males in their 20's in the suburbs, but that isn't who we are 
arresting and that isn't who we are sending to jail and that isn't 
who we are pulling over in their cars. 

The racial consequences of this experiment in criminal prohibi- 
tion are stunning in this country and have also led to the dis- 



166 


enfranchisement, the post-felony disenfranchisement of 14 percent 
of African American men. One in three men between 20 and 29, Af- 
rican American men, are now under the jurisdiction of the criminal 
justice system, most of them for nonviolent arrests, most of them 
for possession. 

Thirteen percent of all monthly drug users are African American, 
according to Federal Government statistics— but 34 percent of 
those arrested are African-American, 55 percent of those convicted 
are African-American, 74 percent of those imprisoned are African- 
American. That is a scandal that has to be part of the burden you 
bear when you look at the consequences of criminalization. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you for your testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Glasser follows:] 



167 


Testimony of Ira Glasser 
Executive Director 
American Civil Liberties Union 


Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources 
Subcommittee 

Hon. John L. Mica. Chair 

June 16. 1999 


Thank you for inviting me to testify today. In the June 9 edition ol the 
rnni>re.ssioiwl Quarterly Daily Monitor , the subject of today ^s hearing is listed as 
covering the issues oJ ^'drug legalization, criminalization and harm reduction Since 
ihcse terms are often differently defined, let me begin by offering my definition, so ihe 
Subcommittee can be clear about my testimony. 

I. Definition of terms 

A. Harm reduction . There arc two kinds of harms as.sociated with the use of 
drugs. One set of harms may be caused by the drugs themselves, and varies widely, 
depending on the particular drag, its potency, its purity, its dosage, and the circumstances 
and frequency of its use. Distinctions must be made between the harms caused by heavy, 
compulsive use (e.g., alcoholism) and occasional, controlled use (e.g., a glass of wine 
each night with dinner). Distinctions must also be made between medical use (e.g.. 
heavy dosaues of morphine prescribed by doctors over atwo-week period in a hospital 
setting or methadone prescribed daily on an otitpalieiu basis as mainicnanee) and 
uneomrolled use (e.g., by addicts on the street using unregulated heroin and unclean 
needles). And distinctions must be made as well between relatively benign drugs (e g., 
marijuana) and drugs with more extreme short-term effects (e.g.. LSD) or more severe 
long-term effects (e.g,. nicotine when delivered by smoking tobacco).’ 

The second kind of harm associated with the use of drugs is the harm caused not 
bv the drugs themselves but by dysfunctional laws designed to control the availability of 
tlie drug. These harms include massive incarceration, much of it racially disparate, and 
the violation of a wide range of constitutional rights so severe that it has led one Supreme 
Court justice to speak of a “drug exception” to the Constitution. Dysfunctional laws have 


' Whoi CNaaly the blion-and long-rcrm effects of panicular drugs arc at paittcuiar potencies, dosnges and 
frcciticncics of use is often a matter of dispute. Bui it is critical that such disputes be sculed b> impartial 
scientific scrutiny and not. as they often have, by ideology, politics and propaganda. 



168 


also led to reduced availability of treatment by those who desire it (e.g., methadone 
maintenance), as well as a number of harms created by uncontrolled and unregulated 
illegal markets (c.g , untaxed and exaggerated subsidies tor organised criminals; street 
crime caused by the settling of commercial disputes with automatic weapons; unregulated 
dosages and impurities; unclean needles and the spread of disease, etc.). 

All laws that address the issue of drugs ought to be evaluated by assessing 

whether or not they reduce or enhance such harms. 

B. Criminalization . Thi.s term refers to the effort to control the hamiful effects of 
dings by making it a crime, often sviih heavy penalties attached, to possess, buy or sell 
drugs. The purpose of criminal prohibition is to .sharply reduce availabiiit) ofdriigs by 
interdicting supplies and deterring commercial transactions. Any a,ssessment of 
criminalization must measure the extent to which this purpose has been achieved, and the 
extent to which new harms have been created and sustained. 

C. Lcualization . This term refers to a wide variety of efforts to control the 
harmful effects of drugs by regulating, instead of criminally prohibiting, their sale and 
use. Depending on the drug, regulations may require a medical prescription (e.g.. Prozac) 
or may limit the settings in which a prescription may be used (c.g.. morphine). Other 
drug.s may be regulated less restrictively (e.g.. alcohol, tobacco). People who advocate 
this approacli believe that the harmful effects of drugs can be better controlled by 
regulation; that different regulations would be appropriate for different drugs: and that 
Congress vvould be more productive if it embarked upon this path, and began the difficult 
process of developing a differential system for regulating the availability of drugs. 

II. General principles 

The .American Civil Libenies Union believes, and has believed for decades, thar 
in general the best way to control the harmful effects of drugs is with a detailed set of 
regulations. Wc believe that (he use ofcrimlnal prohibitions is profoundly wrong in 
prineiplc. generally ineffective in practice and has created problems that the drug.s 
themselves were powerless to create. 

Criminal prohibition is profoundly wrong in principle because the state has no 
business using its police powers to punish adult individu.oLs for what they decide to do 
witit their own minds and bodle.s. On the most basic level the state has no legitimate 
power to send me to prison for eating too much red meat or fal-iaden ice cream or for 
drinking a few beers or glasses of w-ine each day. This is true in principle even if an 
excess of red meat and ice cream demonstrably leads to premature heart attacks and 
strokes. The police power of the state is legitimately used to prevent one citizen Ironi 
attacking anotlicr. and to puni.sh him if he does: it is illegitimately used to prevent adults 
from managing their own bodies and minds, or to punish them when they do. 

Nor doe.s clearly cxces.six c use wamnt criminal punishment. Obesity and 
compulsive eating disorders, while clearly problematic and often dysfunctional, are not a 


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justiftcaiion to put people in jail, to search them for possession of forbidden foods or lo 
seize ihcir property when they are caught with such foods. Even more ccrtaint>', the self- 
abuse of compulsive overeating by some cannot possibly justify punishing oihers for 
eating the same foods, but in moderation and without apparent ill effects. 

Similarly, excessive and conipuisive consumption of alcohol or tobacco doss not 
justify imprisonment, police searches or seizures of property, .And certainly the behavior 
of alcoholics - scrioas abusers of alcohol -cannot justify criminalizing moderate, 
recreational drinking by otherwise stable and law-abiding citizens. 

No American would dispute these as.scrtions. and, of course, we do not m fact do 
such things to people with serious eating disorder, Wc don't even do it with alcohol and 
tobacco, despite the well-documented ill effects of compulsive use of those drugs. Why 
we do it with other substances, like, for e.xampie, marijuana, and whether there is 
.something about marijuana that justifiably causes us to depart so radically from 
fundamental principles, is the key question this nation needs to begin openly and fairly 
debating. 

111. Rethinkinu criminalization . Congress should not avoid this question by 
marginalizing it, or by pretending that those who .advocate individual freedom, harm 
reduction and control through appropriate regulations rather than criminal prohibition 
occupy a narrow band of the political .sp-ecimm. In fact, those who oppose or who are 
deeply skeptical of criminal prohi'nitinn include such notable conservative thinkers as 
Milton Friedman and Wm, F. Buckley. ,Ir. as well as liberals like Mayor Kurt Schmoke of 
Baltimore, experienced police chiefs like Patrick Murphy, .Joseph McNamara and Nick 
Pastore, and a number of state and federal judges. 

Nor is the principle here aniculaied a recently-invented one. To the contrary, it is 
America’s obsession with criminalization that i.s relatively recent, beginning in 1914. 

The tradition of persona! freedom and individual sovereignty has far older and deeper 
roots in Western thought. As far back as 1 859. for example, the political philosopher 
,lohn Stuart Mill in his famous essay On 1-iboitv . uffered the .following advice la free 
societies and their governments: 

The object of this Essay is to a-ssert one very simple principle... to govern 
absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of 
compulsion and comroi... That principle is, that i-he sole end of which 
mankind arc warranted... in interfering with the liberty ofaction of any of 
their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose forvvhich power 
can be rigittfuliy exercised over any member of a civilized community, 
against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either 
physical or moral is not a .sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be 
compelled to do so or forbear because it will bo better for him to do so, 
because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions oi' others, to do 
so would be wise or ev en right. 



170 


There are good reasons for remonstrating with him. or reasoning with him. 
or persuading him. or entreating him, but not for compelling him... 
Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good 
to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest. 
On Liberty , at liiie.s 33S-35 1.471 (185^). 

There is no better example of tire folly of ignoring Mill's advice than the hi.story 
nf America's attempts over the past 85 years to control the harmi'ul effects of drugs by 
making it a crime to possess, buy or sell them. This approach began in 1 9H, when 
Congress pas.sed the Harrison Act, and was followed by hundreds of federal and state 
laws, all of them to one degree or another utilizing criminal penalties to punish 
po.ssession. .sale and purchase of a wide variety of substances including for a period of 
lime alcohol. 

The stated purposes of such laws were to make drugs le.ss available; to interdict 
supplies and to deter commercial transactions. But the laws of prohibition accomplished 
none of these purposes. Alcohol prohibition was abandoned as a failure over si.Kiy years 
ago. But criminal prohibition of other drugs cooiinued. Between 1914 and 1970. 55 
federal laws and hundreds of state laws were passed, all of them prohibitive, all ol'them 
containing criminal penalties. Almost from the beginning, the results w'ere disappointing 
and counterproductive. As early as 1926, the Illinois Medical Journal, characterizing the 
1914 Harrison Act as a "well-meaning blunder'' concluded ihat: 


.. .instead of slopping the traffic, those who deal in dope now make double 
their money from the poor upon whom they prey. 49 niinois Medical 
Journal 447 (1926). 


'I'hen years later, m 1936. August Vollmer, a former police chief and leading 
cxperl on American policing, wrote: 


•Stringent laws, spectacular police drives, vigorous prosecution, and 
imprisonment of addicts and peddlers ha\-c proved not only useless and 
enormously expensive as means of correcting this evil, but they are also 
unjustifiably and unbelievably cruel in their application to the unfortunate 
drug victims... Drug addiction, like prostitution and like liquor, is not a 
police problem; it never has been and never can be solved by policemen. 

It is fir.st and last a medical problem. .. The I’nlice and Modern Society 
(1936). Atp. 117-18. 


And in 1958, a comprehensive study concluded; 


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For the past 40 years we have been trying the mainly punitive approach: 
we have increased penalties, we have hoimdcd the drug addict, and vve 
have brought out the idea that any person who takes drugs is a most 
dangerous person.., Our whole dealing with the problem of drug 
addiction for the past 40 years has been a -sorry mess. Problems of 
Addiction and Habituation 1958). At p. 171 . 


By the early seventies, it teas clear that the situation described b\ Chief Voilmcr 
and others was unchanged: prohibition had not worked. Drugs were plentifully available 
on the street and a lively if illegal and often violent market was flourishing. Addicts were 
not being helped. Interdiction was not working, .And organised crime was being 
fabulously enriched by the artificially inflated prices of an illegal market. 


Ivlany observers at the time concluded as Vollmer had in 1 9 . 56 : criminal 
prohibition of drugs was a mi.stake for the same reasons that alcohol prohibition (enacted 
originally at about the same time) had been a mistake. It was time to rethink criminal 
prohibition and go in another direction. Other, non-cocrcive programs had begun to 
■sliow effectivenes.s. Methadone maintenance on a s-oltintary. out-patiem basis, had shown 
promise. A study of one program showed that "the overwhelming majority of patients..., 
after years as criminals on heroin, lead a law-abiding life on methadone maintenance," 
And .after 5 years, the failure rate remained low. Many people began to believe that 
addiction could be treated medically and voluntarily. 


But in New York. Governor Nelson Rockefeller concluded otherwise. Despite 
nearl) 60 years ol' demonstrable failure, he decided lliat the trouble witli criminal 
prohibition was that as punitive as it had been, it hadn't been punitive enough. The 
failures of criminal prohibition. Rockefeller argued, could be reversed by even tougher 
law s and a more punitive use of the state's police power. Thus vvas born the infamous 
Rockefeller drug laws, now nearly universally considered a tragic mistake, liven 
Laurence Rockefeller, the late Governor's brother, has recently stated so publicly, and 
speculated that his brother, if he were still ali\ c. would today be admitting that mistake. 
Perhaps. 

What is clear is that bctw'een 1973, when the Rockefeller laws were passed, and 
today, the use of the criminal .sanction has increased exponentially. On the federal level 
alone, expenditures have gone up from , ‘SI .63 billion in 1982 to $17 billion in 1998. And 
billions more have been spent by the states. Incarceration has gone up from a few 
hundred thousand to more than 1 .7 million: 85 percent of the increase in incarceration 
between 1 985 and 1 995 was due to drug convictions, according to the Bureau of Justice 
•Stalistics, the bulk of them for nonviolent crimes. Driven by stunning and unjustifiable 


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disparilies in sencencing between crack, cocaine and powder cocaine, as well as other 
racial di.spariiics in how drug laws are enforced, disproportionate numbers of blacks and 
Latino.s ars filling our prisons. According to federal eovernmem statistics, only i 3 
perccnl ofmotithly drug users arc black; but 37 percent are arrested for possession. 55 
percent ars convicted of possession and 74 percent are imprisoned for posses.sion. One of 
every three African American men between the ages of 20-29 are now under tlie 
jurisdiction of the criminal justice system. 14 percent of African American men are 
permanently disenfranchised. 


Three-quarters of the swollen federal drug policy budget remains devoted io law 
enforcement, much of it to interdiction, despite the lact that no serious student of 
imcrdiciion thinks it has worked or that il can work. Federal criminalization has clogged 
the federal court system and. according to Chief Justice William Rehnquisi. is having 
deleterious consequences for the administration of juslics. About haif of all drug arrests 
are for marijuana, over ,50 percent of them for possession. Urine testing has become a 
routine predic.aie to holding a job in SI percent of major U-S. fimis. despite studies that 
show that such testing is an w'orthless to the employer a.s it is degrading and inffusivc to 
the employee. Civil asset forfeiture of property - what one historian has called a 
government license to steal - has become widespread, at both federal and state levels, 
leading .Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde to introduce a bill designed lo 
refortn this abu.se of power. And drug interdiction has become a pretext for stopping cars 
whose drivers are black and Latino, leading :o an epidemic of racial profiling and the 
harassment of innocent people that amounts to a shocking reprise of old-style Jim Crow 
justice. 


Our 85-year experiment with criminal prohibition of drugs, and the escalation of 
that experimem since 1980. has not solved the problems it was me.ant to solve and it tia.s 
created other serious problems re.sulling from tlic evccs.sis e and unprincipled use of the 
goveminent's police power. 


To summarize: 


• Criminalizabon ha.s not made drugs less available. For example, a federal study 
showed that in 1975. 87 percent of young people said marijuana was 'A ery easy" or 
"fairly easy” to obtain. In 1 998 - after millions of arrests and an exponential increa.se 
tn prison sentences - the figure was 89.6 percent. 


Although criminalization has not made drugs less atailablc. it has assured that they 
would be available only under the most dangerous ana violent circumstances. And 
most of the violence is not due to the pharmacclogicii! influence ofdrug.s but to the 


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illegality of the market that is created by the law. Al Capone did not shoot people 
because he was drunk and drug dealers do not shoot people because ihc) aic high. 
They settle commercial disputes with violence in the streets because prohibition 
permits no other option. 


• Criminalization does not deter commercial transactions; to the contrary, it 

enriches criminais and attracts an endlKs parade of new entrepreneurs due to the 
pi ospeet of stunning profit margin.^. 


• Crimmaiizalion does not help addicts. The huge amount of spending on 
interdiction and other law enforcement - despite August Vollmer's prophetic 
warning over 60 years ago - detracts from our ability to provide treatment on 
demand to all those who want it. 


* Criminalization creates other problems not created by the drugs themselves: 


— It has eroded the Fourth Amendment creating in effect what Justice Tnurgood 
Marshall once called "a drug exception" to the Constitution. 


-- It ha.s resulted in widespread urine testing, what .lustice Antonin Scaiia has called 
"an immolation of privacy and human dignity." 


•- It has led to an unprecedented explosion of racially .skewed incarceration. Despite 
the fact that mn.st drug users are white, most of those arrcsled and imprisoned arc 
people of color. Drug prohibition has become an engine for the restoration of Jim 
Crow justice. 


- It has led to the spread of AIDS, a genuine public health disaster, because of 
ptohibiiion on the availability and distribution of clean needles. 


- it has violated sound medical practice by restricting the use of methadone a.s a 
prescriptive medicine and by interfering with the management of pain, wasting 



syndrome and glaucoma by barring the medical use of marijuana and by resisting the 
scientific research that would go beyond anecdotal evidence. 


- It htis swept away the right not to have your property taken without due proces.s of 
law, though the extensive use of civil asset forfeiture, a practice one leading historian 
has called a government "license to steal." 


- !t has establisiied a pretext for racial profiling on our highways, in cur airpons. at 
our customs checkpoints and on our streets that are based not on evidence but on skin 
color. 

Above all. criminalization has intruded the state into that zone of personal 
sovereignty where the state should never be allowed to go, at least not in a society that 
calls itself free. By failing to distinguish between users and abusers, the government has 
demonized all drug use without difrerentiation. has systematically and hysterically 
resisted science and has turned millions of stable and productive citizens into criminals. 

The Hippocratic principle that governs medical practice is: "First, do no h.irm.’' 
Criminal prohibition ha.s, since 1914, done immense harm, without achieving its stated 
goals. 

’i he American Civil Liberties LInion urges Congres.s to begin again, to initiate a 
serious .nnd extensive study of drugs, their benefits and their harm, and the proper role of 
governmem in mediating such harms as may exist. Wc believe such an inquiry, fairly 
conducted, will lead to the conclusion that criminalization was a mistake, and that both 
freedom and safety, as well as a concern for addicts, require the abandonment ofcriminnl 
prohibition and the development of a differentiated and appropriate regulatory system to 
control the availability of drugs. 


We urge you to move In that direction- 



175 


Mr. Mica. I would like to recognize next Mr. Scott Ehlers, senior 
policy analyst with the Drug Policy Foundation. 

Mr. Ehlers. Thank you. I have a full statement that I would like 
to introduce into the record. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, that will be made part of the 
record. Thank you. 

Mr. Ehlers. Thank you. 

Chairman Mica, Representative Mink and other distinguished 
members of the subcommittee, once again my name is Scott Ehlers, 
senior policy analyst for the Drug Policy Foundation. 

Thank you for inviting me to testify about our Nation's drug poli- 
cies. I am proud to say that the Drug Policy Foundation has been 
on the forefront of reform since 1986. 

I am sorry to say that over the last two decades, the drug war's 
strain on the justice system has gone up significantly. Drug arrests 
are up from 580,000 in 1980 to nearly 1.6 million in 1997. The 
number of drug offenders in prison is 22 times larger today than 
in 1980. We are creating, in the words of General Barry McCaffrey, 
a "drug gulag." 

One of those prisoners is Dorothy Gaines, a mother of three from 
Mobile, AL. Dorothy calls me every week to tell me how she misses 
her children and how she would be willing to wear an ankle brace- 
let for the rest of her life if she could just go home. Dorothy is serv- 
ing 19 years in Federal prison on a crack cocaine conspiracy 
charge. No evidence of drugs were ever found in her home. She has 
no previous arrests. She is an upstanding, church-going citizen. 
There is so little evidence that the State court threw the case out. 
But the Federal prosecutor took it anyway. 

She was convicted merely on the testimony of drug dealers who 
lied so they could get a reduced sentence. The kingpin is going to 
get out of prison 8 years before Dorothy because she didn't know 
anyone to snitch on. 

But it is not only Dorothy serving time. So is her son Phillip who 
wrote the trial judge to strike a deal: "Dear j udge, would you help 
my mom? I don't have anyone to take care of me and my sisters. 
My birthday is coming up in October, and I need my mom to be 
here. I will cut your grass, I will wash your car every day. j ust 
don't send my mom off. Please, please, don't send her off." 

Other families are being torn apart just like Dorothy's, many of 
whom are in this book, "Shattered Lives," which I am sending to 
each of you. And if there have been other books entered into the 
record, I am wondering if this is a possibility as well. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, it will be noted and made part of 
the record. 

Mr. Ehlers. Thank you. 

[Note.— The information referred to may be found in subcommit- 
tee files.] 

Mr. Ehlers. Flave the mass incarcerations made drugs less 
available? Cocaine is half as expensive today as in 1981, and heroin 
is five times as pure. I n 1975, 87 percent of high school seniors said 
it was easy to get marijuana. Today, that figure is 90.4 percent. 
Clearly, our Nation's current drug strategy is not achieving its in- 
tended goals. 



176 


We think there is a better way, based on the foiiowing principies 
and reforms. 

No. 1, drug use and addiction shouid be treated as pubiic heaith 
issues, not criminai justice probiems. With the threat of criminai 
sanctions gone, many more peopie with substance abuse probiems 
wouid seek medicai assistance rather than hiding out of fear of ar- 
rest. 

No. 2, prevention shouid address the root causes of drug use and 
abuse. Community deveiopment, job training programs, and after- 
schooi programs shouid receive more support. 

No. 3, drug poiicy shouid be based on science and research, not 
ideoiogy. Research shows that treatment is more cost effective than 
prison. Marijuana is an effective medicine, and syringe exchange 
reduces the spread of H i V. 

No. 4, drug poiicy shouid be based on a respect for the Constitu- 
tion, dvii iiberties and property rights. Unfortunateiy, Representa- 
tives Barr and Cummings aren't here, i was going to thank them 
for cosponsoring the Civii Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, which we 
are supporting, that wouid protect property owners. 

No. 5, Federai drug poiicy shouid respect democracy and States' 
rights. The Federai Government shouid respect State initiatives 
that have supported drug poiicy reforms. 

No. 6, mandatory mini mums shouid be repeaied, drug sentences 
reduced and aiternatives to incarceration impiemented. Congress 
shouid support Representative Waters in passing her Fi.R. 1681 
which would repeal mandatory mini mums for drug offenses. We 
also support General McCaffrey's call to reduce drug prisoners by 
250,000. 

No. 7, the regulation and control of currently illicit drugs must 
be included as one of the drug policy options that is discussed. 
What would these regulations look like? Would the government, 
doctors, or special drugstores dispense the drugs? Would all cur- 
rently illicit drugs be sold in the regulated market or are some un- 
acceptably dangerous? Would drugs be regulated over 1 year or 20 
years? All of these questions have to be answered by the American 
public. 

Why must regulation be considered? Because prohibition and the 
resulting black market enrich criminals and terrorists around the 
world, encourages the recruitment of youth to sell drugs, provides 
youth with easier access to drugs, corrupts government officials, 
and undermines the rule of law. 

We must also acknowledge the potential benefits of regulating 
the drug market, including taking the profit out of the hands of 
criminals and putting it into government coffers for expanding pre- 
vention and treatment efforts. 

I n conclusion, there are a wide variety of drug policy innovations 
that would save tax dollars, protect children and improve public 
health, but we must first realize that police and prisons are not the 
solution to our social problems. As a free society, we should seri- 
ously consider all the options to determine the best drug policy for 
our country. 

Thank you again for giving me this opportunity. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you for your testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Ehlers follows:] 



177 


Statement of Scott Ehlers 
Senior Policy Analyst 

Drug Policy Foundation - Washington, D.C. 


Before 

Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources 


Hearing on 

“Drug Legalization, Criminalization, and Harm Reduction” 


June 16, 1999 


The Drug Policy Foundation 
4455 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite B500 
Washington, DC 20008-2328 



178 


Chairman Mica, Rep. Mink, and other Distinguished Members of the Subcommittee: 

My name is Scott Ehlers and I am the Senior Policy Analyst for the Drug Policy Foundation in 
Washington, D.C. 

Thank you for inviting me to testify about our nation’s drug policies and the growing movement 
to bring about drug policy reform. I am proud to say that the Drug Policy Foundation has been on 
the forefront of these efforts since the organization’s inception in 1986. 

I am sorry to say that over the last two decades, the drug-war strain on the criminal justice system 
has gone up significantly, from 580,900 drug arrests in 1980 to nearly 1.6 million in 1997, the 
highest level in our nation’s history.' The number of drug offenders in state and federal prisons 
has skyrocketed from 12,475 in 1980 to 281,419 in 1997, a 2,155% increase.^ 

INCREASED ARRESTS, PRISONERS DO NOT REDUCE DRUG AVAILABILITY 

Has the U.S. attempt to incarcerate its way out of the drug problem made drugs less available or 
increased their price on the street? Not at all. According to the DEA, since 1981, cocaine and 
heroin prices are at historically low levels today, and purity is very high.^ There has been little 
change in the amount of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana available for consumption today 
compared with 10 years ago.'' 

Disturbingly, the high number of drug arrests and prisoners has not reduced young people’s 
access to illegal drugs. The Monitoring the Future Survey found that 87% of high school seniors 
said it was “easy” or “fairly easy” to get marijuana in 1975. Twenty-four years and millions of 


‘ FBI, 1997 Uniform Crime Reports, p. 222; FBI, 1980 Unifonn Crime Reports, p. 191. 

^ Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisorjers in J997, August \ 99 i, 3 scitei'mThe National DrugControl Strategy, 1999, 
p. 129. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Correctional Populations in the United States, 1 992, p. 58-9. 

’ In 1981, cocaine cost $378,70 per pure gram on the street. In 1998 it cost $169,25. Purity has risen from 40.02% in 
1981 to 71.23% in 1998. Heroin cost $3,1 14.80 per pure gram in 1981 and $1,798.80 in 1998. Heroin purity has 
risen from 4.69% in 1981 to 24.49% in 1998. Source: System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence, DEA, 
1981-98. 

* Seethe 1997 NNICC Report end the 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, p. 131. 

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arrests later, 90.4% of seniors said the drug was easily obtained in 1998. Similarly, the National 
Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse found that it is much easier for high school students to 
buy marijuana than beer.^ Clearly, our nation’s current drug strategy is not achieving its intended 
goal of increasing the price of drugs and reducing people’s — especially youth’s - access to them. 

How many people will we have to throw in prison before we declare victory in the war on drugs? 
How many of the 77 million Americans who have tjsed illegal drugs should be rounded up and 
sent to jail? How many schools are we willing to neglect in order to expand our prison system? 
How many lives and billions of dollars are we going to waste before we realize, “There has to be 
a better way?” 

DRUG-FREE OR SIMPLY UN-FREE? 

What is that better way? First, we must recognize that a drug-free society has never existed in 
human history, and that the current attempts to create a drug-free society will simply result in an 
un-free society. Will we eliminate personal privacy, cut off foreign trade, institute population- 
wide random drug testing, wiretap all the phones, create an army of police and informants, 
monitor all financial transactions, and build a prison system big enough to hold every drug user 
before we recognize the folly of our ways? Unfortunately, this is the path on which we are 
currently traveling. 

MINIMIZE THE HARMS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG USE AA® DRUG POLICY 

If a drug-free society cannot be created, then what can be done? We can minimize the harms 
associated with drug use and our drug policies. Unfortunately, the drug war itself creates 
excessive amounts of harm including: the curtailment of civil liberties through heavy-handed 
police tactics; the ever-expanding role of the military in domestic law enforcement; large-scale 
imprisomnent and disenfranchisement of the citizemy, particularly minorities; a growing 

’ “Teens Report Cigarettes and Marijuana Easier to Buy Than Beer,” CESAR Fax. October 28, 1996. Adapted from 
the National Survey cf American Attitudes on Substance Abuse II: Teens ondTheir Parents, National Center on 
Addiction and Substance Abuse, September 1996. 


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disrespect for the law and police by youth and minorities because they are being targeted for drug 
arrests; the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis; and expanding global interventionism and 
militarism to fight the war on drugs. 

Rather than continue down this toad of self-destruction, the Drug Policy Foundation and its allies 
would like to offer another way to deal with drug-related problems. I urge the members of the 
subcommittee to study the attached documents for a detailed examination of the reforms we are 
suggesting. Included is a summary of the FY 2000 Appropriations Recommendations 
(Attachment 1) and legislative agenda (Attachment 2) of the National Coalition for Effective 
Drug Policies, which is made up of criminal justice, public health, civil rights, women, and youth 
interest groups, and for which I currently serve as coordinator. I have also included a summary of 
the Effective National Drug Control Strategy, published by the Network of Reform Groups in 
consultation with the National Coalition. (Attachment 3) After examining these documents, 1 
think you will see that our suggested reforms have a broad base of support, including in 
Congress, where numerous pieces of legislation that would implement some of the reforms we 
are advocating have been introduced. 

SUGGESTED REFORMS 

DPF’s drug policy vision is based on the following principles and reforms: 

1) Drug use and addiction should be treated as public health issues, not criminal justice 
problems. Treatment-on-request should be made available, as required by the Anti-Drug Abuse 
Act of 1988.® Private insurance companies should provide coverage for substance abuse 
treatment. Methadone maintenance should be more widely available, including through private 
physicians. Other maintenance therapies should be explored, including the use of buprenorphine, 
as Sen. Orrin Hatch is seeking in S. 324, and heroin maintenance, based on the successful 
programs in England and Switzerland. Drug prevention efforts should be expanded, and they 
should be accompanied by honest, rational dialogue, not scare tactics. 


^ Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Sec. 2012. P.L. 100-690. 

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Finally, if drug use and addiction were treated as a health problem, you would have health care 
workers reaching out to drug users, rather than the police actively seeking out and arresting 
people for possessing personal quantities of drugs. With the threat of criminal sanctions gone, 
many more people with substance abuse problems would seek medical assistance rather than 
hiding out of fear of arrest and imprisonment. 

2) Prevention should be expanded to include activities that address the root causes of drug 
use and abuse. Poverty, joblessness, hopelessness, mental illness, lack of after-school activities 
for youth - these are reasons many individuals turn to drugs for comfort, self-medication, and 
recreation. To address these root causes of drug use and abuse, community development should 
be promoted, job training programs should be available, the mentally ill should receive adequate 
medication, and youth should have more recreation and learning opportunities after school, when 
much drug use and crime occurs. 

3) Drug policies should be based on science and research, not ideology. The evidence for 
reform already exists. Research and experience has shown that treatment is more cost-effective at 
reducing the demand for drugs than prison.’ The Institute of Medicine found marijuana to be an 
effective medicine.* Seven govemment-fimded studies have found syringe exchange to reduce 
the spread of HTV and not increase drug use.’ 

Treatment should be provided as an alternative to prison, medical marijuana patients should not 
be arrested, and syringes should be available through pharmacies or syringe exchange should be 
funded by the government. 


^ Johathan P. Cauikins et at, Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Throwing Away the Key or the Taxpayers Money?, 
Rand Corporation, 1997. 

‘ “The accumulated data indicate a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such 
as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.” Marijuana and Medicine; Assessing the 
Science Base, Institute of Medicine, March 1999, p. ES.4. 

’National Commission on AIDS, 1991; General Accounting Office, 1993; University of California, 1993; Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention, 1993; National Academy of Sciences, 1995; Office of Technology Assessment, 
1995; National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel, 1997. 

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4) Drug policies should be based on a respect for the Constitution, civil liberties, and 
property rights. The drug war has gutted the Fourth Amendment’s protection against 
unreasonable searches and seizures; has allowed the government to effectively steal private 
property under the civil asset forfeiture laws; results in racial profiling on the highways and in 
airports; infringes upon financial privacy, as seen in the recently defeated Know Your Customer 
regulations; and is used as a justification to turn the nation’s schools into virtual prisons with 
lockdown searches, random drug testing, and video surveillance. 

We recommend that the civil asset forfeiture laws be reformed, as Rep. Hyde advocates in H.R. 
1658, racial profiling should be investigated, as Rep. Conyers’ H.R. 1443 would do, and 
financial privacy should be restored, as in Rep. Ron Paul’s H.R. 518. 

5) Federal drug policy should respect democracy and states’ rights. The federal government 
should stop threatening states that have passed initiatives supporting medical marijuana and other 
drug policy reforms. In the District of Coliunbia, the federal government effectively outlawed 
citizens from voting on a medical marijuana initiative and operating a syringe exchange program 
with its own funds. If democracy is to remain intact and government innovation is to take place, 
states’ rights must be respected. Drug policy innovations should not be treated differently from 
other policy iimovations. 

6) Mandatory minimums should be repealed, drug-related sentences reduced, and 
alternatives to incarceration implemented. Three Supreme Court Justices, numerous federal 
judges, and recently, noted criminologist John Dilulio have called for the repeal of mandatory 
minimums because they impose unduly harsh sentences on minor drug offenders, and result in 
wasteful spending for incarceration without adding to public safety.'” Mandatory minimums 
should be repealed, as advocated by Rep. Waters in H.R. 1 68 1 , and the Sentencing Guidelines 
should be allowed to do the job of determining the appropriate sentence for individual offenders. 
Additionally, drug-related sentences should be reduced so that the punishment fits the crime, and 


Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist have called for the repeal of 
mandatory minimums. See also John Dilulio, “Against Mandatory Minimums: Drug Sentencing Run Amok, " 
National Review, May 17, 1999, p. 46. 


5 



183 


alternatives to incarceration should be implemented to reduce costs to the taxpayers and promote 
rehabilitation of drug offenders. 

7) The regulation and eontrol of eurrently illicit drugs must be included as one of the drug 
policy options that is considered. If I were to define “legalization,” it would be the regulation 
and control of the use and sale of currently illicit drugs. Would the government, doctors, 
pharmacies or special drug stores dispense the drugs? Would all currently illicit drugs be sold in 
the regulated market, or would some be deemed to be unacceptably dangerous and remain 
illegal? Would there be restrictions on the quantity of drugs sold to buyers? Would drugs be 
legalized over one year, five years, or twenty years? All of these questions would have to be 
answered by the American public and federal, state, and local governments. One thing we do 
know right now is that it would remain illegal for minors to use and buy drugs, for adults to give 
or sell drugs to minors, and for anyone to drive or endanger others while under the influence of 
drugs. 

Why must regulation be considered? Because prohibition and the resulting black market enriches 
criminals and terrorists around the world, results in gang warfare over the control of drug 
markets, encourages the recruitment of youth to sell drugs, provides youth with easier access to 
drugs, corrupts government officials, destabilizes governments, and undermines the rule of law. 
Drugs that are distributed in the black market are more potent than those available in a regulated 
market, and they are of unknown potency and quality, resulting in increased overdoses and 
deaths. 

If the debate about our nation’s drug policies is to be honest, open, and fully informed, then the 
problems created by drug prohibition must be recognized. We must also acknowledge the 
potential benefits of regulating the drug market, including eliminating drug trade-related 
violence, eliminating the recruitment of youth into the drug trade, reduced access to drugs by 
children, reduced drug enforcement costs, availability of less potent drugs of known quality, and 
the use of significant tax revenues from drug sales for prevention and treatment efforts. 


6 



184 


CONCLUSIONS 

In conclusion, there are a wide variety of drug policy innovations that would save tax dollars, 
save lives, protect children, and improve public safety, but politicians must first realize that 
police and prisons are not the solution for all our social problems. As a free society, we should be 
searching for ways to reduce the number of police and prisoners, not increase them. 

As a free society we should also embrace an honest and open discussion about drug policy 
options. Unless we seriously consider all of the options, not just the status quo, we will not be 
able to determine what is the best policy for our country. 

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to discuss these very important issues with today. I 
hope this hearing will serve as the beginning of a more open debate on drug policy in Congress 
and the rest of the country. 


7 



185 


Attachment 1 


Effective Drug Control Budget 

FY 2000 Appropriations Recommendation 


National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies 

May 1999 



186 


Organizations Endorsing the Effective Drug Control Budget* 


Afrikan American Institute for Policy Studies and Planning 

AIDS Policy Center for Children, Youth and Families 

American Civil Liberties Union 

American College of Nurse MMvwves 

American Medical Student Association 

American Public Health Association 

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals 

Campaign for Effective Crime Policy 

Center for Women Policy Studies 

Common Sense for Drug Policy 

Conreotiond Association of New York 

Drug Reform Coordination Network 

DmgSense 

Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii 

Dnjg Policy Forum of Texas 

Drug Policy Foundation 

Drug Policy Reform Group of Minnesota 

Family Council on Drug Awareness 

Family Watch 

Efficacy 

Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health 

General Federation of Women’s Clubs 

Harm Reduction Coalition 

Human Rights and the Drug War 

Institute for Policy Studies 

Justice Policy Institute 

Juvenile Law Center 

The Undesmith Center 

Marijuana Policy Project 

Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse 

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies 

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates 

National Association of Nurse Praotffloners in Women’s Health 

National Association of People with AIDS 

National Association for Public Health Policy, Council on Illicit Drugs 

National Association of School Psychologists 

NAACP 

National Black Women’s Health Project 

National Center on Institutions and Alternatives 

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health 

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws 

National Organization for Women Foundation 

New Mexico Drug Policy Foundation 

North American Syringe Exchange Network 

November Coalition 

Patients Out of Time 

Prisoner’s Legal Services of New York 

Research and Policy Reform Center 

Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO 

St Ann’s Comer of Harm Reduction 

Unitarian Universalist Association 

Volunteers of America 

Whitman Walker Clinic 

Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual 
YWCA of the USA 



National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies 


Stmring Committee 

Co^hairs 

RadielKing 

American CSvil Uberfies Union 
^^1681 

Ifevin Zee^ 

Common Sense for Drug PoBcy 
703^54-5694 

Coordinator 

DnigPdIcyFcajndafion 

202-637-5005 

Kathleen Stoll 
Tite Center for Women 
PdicyShJdles 
^2-872-t770 

'Eric Sterling 
Criminal Justice Policy 
Foundafion 
202-312-2015 

K^dra^^ht 
Family Watch 
703-354-5694 

Sanho Tree 

instHute for Policy Studies 
m234^382 

Jason Z^enberg 
JusSce Policy institute 
202-673-9282 

l^tiiSfroup 

Nation^ OrgariKation for tiie 
Reform of Marijuana Lavra 
202-483-5500 

H. Alexander Robinson 
Researcii and Poiicy Refomi 
Center 

^2-624-3170 


Effective Drug Control Budget 

FY 2000 Appropriations Recommendation 
Summary 

The National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, a network of 
organizations seeking the development and implementation of 
national policies that effectively address drug use and drug abuse, 
makes the following recommendations for expenditures on drug 
policy: 

• increase funding for after-school programs; 

• provide sufficient funds to make treatment on request a reality 
within the next three years; 

• fund treatment and rehabilitation services for special needs 
groups (youth, women, families); 

• adequate funds to satisfy the needs for prevention of AIDS and 
Hepatitis C, including funds for syringe exchange programs; 

• resources to examine the racially disproportionate impact of 
drug enforcement; 

• resources to examine the effects of prosecution of pregnant 
women; 

• resources to prevent juvenile delinquency; 

• fund for alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders; 

• resources for honest drug education; and 

• funds to evaluate alternative drug control strategies. 

NCEDP is urging that law enforcement and interdiction budgets be 
held at current levels until they are evaluated and shown to be 
effective. 



188 


April 30. 1999 

Honorable Ted Stevens 
Chairman 

Committee on Appropriations 
United States Senate 
Washington, DC 20510-2203 


Honorable Bill Young 
Chairman 

Committee on Appropriations 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Washington, DC 20515 


Dear Senator Stevens and Representative Young: 

The National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies is a coalition of national organizations 
dedicated to the development and implementation of federal policies that effectively 
address drug use and drug abuse. NCEDP is a recently formed coalition of health, 
religious, women's, civil rights, professional, and drug policy reform advocates who 
support federal funding priorities that emphasize public health approaches to drug use. 

We believe that two out of every three drug control dollars should be spent on prevention 
and rehabilitation. By making this change in budget emphasis, the United States will be 
able to provide adequate funding for programs that work. 

We write to you today regarding the Fiscal Year 2000 budget appropriations. Enclosed is 
the NCEDP: Effective Drug Control Budget FY 2000 Appropriations Recommendations. In 
an effort to effectively address the harms of drug abuse and the risk of drug use, NCEDP 
recommends the following priorities and federal appropriations for FY 2000: 

• Provide sufficient funding to community-based organizations and schools for after 
school programs and alternative activity programs to meet the needs of America’s 
youth within the next five years. Alternative activity programs have been shown to be 
effective in preventing adolescent drug abuse. 

• Provide sufficient funding to make treatment on request a reality within the next three 
years. Treatment has been proven to be the most cost-effective way of reducing the 
drug market and problems associated with drug abuse. 

• Provide sufficient funding to stem the health emergencies of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. 
The engine for these epidemics is rooted in the sharing of contaminated syringes. 
These epidemics do not only threaten drug users they threaten all Americans. 

• Evaluate current drug enforcement spending to ensure the most effective use of 
resources and provide sufficient funding for alternatives to incarceration for non-violent, 
low-level drug offenders. This will keep families together and people in their 
communities. In addition to being less expensive than incarceration such programs are 
more effective as offenders can be developed into contributing members of American 
society. 

• Undertake an examination of current drug policies to assess its impact and develop 
alternatives where necessary. By any objective measure, US drug control policies are 


I 



189 


failing to prevent the use or significantly reduce the supply of controlled substances. 
However, there is mounting evidence that the “war on drugs" is undermining 
constitutional protections and having a disproportionately negative impact on African 
Americans, the poor, women, and other racial and ethnic minorities. 

• Hold funding for international and domestic drug law enforcement to current levels until 
their effectiveness can be demonstrated. These programs have seen massive 
increases in funding over the last two decades without any evidence of success. 

• Establish a blue-ribbon commission to conduct an objective review of the evidence 
regarding the impact of current federal drug policies and the availability and viability of 
alternative approaches to address illicit drug use. 

Drugs are more available, less expensive and more potent after two decades of intense 
law enforcement. This failure is not because of the failure of law enforcement to do its job 
- we have seen record seizures, arrests and incarceration - but rather due to a failed 
strategy. It is imperative that the racist effects of law enforcement strategies are 
eliminated and methods developed to remove the racially disproportionate impact before 
these programs are expanded. 

Problems associated with drugs have worsened in recent years. The facts indicate that 
our current approach to drugs has failed to significantly reduce either the demand or the 
availability of drugs. NCEDP is committed to lessening the harms to our society of drug 
abuse and the risk to individuals of drug use. We would be pleased to provide a 
delegation of our members to discuss this matter with you. 

We also look forward to your written response to our proposals. Please respond to either 
of the national Chairs of NCEDP; Ms. Rachel King, Legislative Counsel, American Civil 
Liberties Union, 122 Maryland Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20002 (202) 544-1681 or Mr. 
Kevin B. Zeese, President, Common Sense for Drug Policy, 3619 Tallwood Terrace, Falls 
Church, VA 22041 (703) 354-5694. 

cc: 

Members Senate Appropriations Committee 
Members House Appropriations Committee 


2 



190 


Attachment 2 

National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies 


Legislative Agenda 


S^sra^ Commie 
Cochairs 
Rachel King 
American Civil Uberties Union 
(202)675-2314 

Kevin Zeese 
Common S®tse for C^g Policy 
(703)354-5834 

Coorc/i/iafor 
Scott Ehlers 
Drug Policy Foundation 
(202)537-5005 

Eric Sterling 
Jriminai Justice Policy Foundation 
(202) 312-2015 

Kathleen Stoll 
Center for Women Policy Studies 
(202)872-1770 

Keith Stroup 
National Oiganization for the 
Reform of Marijuana Laws 
(202) 483-5500 

Sanho Tree 
Instihifo for Policy SUidies 
(202)234-9382 

Kendra Wright 
Family Watch 
(703)3644002 

rie<fonberg 
Justice Policy insStute 
(202) 878-9282 


1) Protect Privacy and Property Rights 

*(a) Enact Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform 
H.R. 1658 (Hyde) 

(b) Block Implaneotation of “Know Your Customer” Banking 
Regulations 

see H.R- 516 (Paul); S. 403 (Allard); or H.R. 5 1 8 (Paul) 

2) Adopt Sensible Sentencing Policies 

*(a) Repeal crack cocaine disparity in mandatory sentencing 
see H.R. 939 (Rangel) 

(b) Retroactive application of the 1994 Mandatory Minimum Safety 
Valve 

see H.R. 913 (B. Frank) 

(c) Repeal drag-related mandatory minimum sentences 
see H.R. 1681 (Waters) 

(d) Develop alternatives to incarcwation for minor drug offenders 

3) Restore Civil Rights 

*(a.) Restore financial aid eligibility to students convicted of a drag 
offense 

H.R. 1053 (B. Frank) 

*(b) Determine the extent to which racial profiling is being used by 
police in traffic stops 

see H.R. 1443 (Conyers); S. 821 (Lautenberg) 

(c) Restore the right to vote for felons upon release from prison 
see H.R. 906 (Conyers) 

(d) Restore eligibility for basic services and benefits to this country’s 
poorest, most disadvantaged persons (and their familes) who are 
struggling to overcome drug addiction. End government 
discrimination against drug offenders and users in: 

•Public housing programs 

•Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 
•Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 

•Immigration laws 

(e) Ensure low income pregnant vromen’s ^cess to prenatal care, health , 
and support services, and drag treatment. End the criminal 
prosecution and civil rights violations of pregnant women who use 
alcohol and drags. 


'Denotes top legislative priorities for 106* Corrgress. 


06/14/99 



191 


4) Approve Marijuana to be Used as a Prescription Medicine 

H.R. 912 (B. Frank) 

5) Implement the F ederal Funding of Needle Exchange Programs 

see H.R. 2212 in 105^^ Congress (Cummings) 

6) Expand Drug Treatment 

*(a) Allow Medicaid to cover alcohol and drug treatment 
see S. 147 in 105* Congress (Daschle) 

*(b) Require private health insurance plans to cover substance abuse treatment 

(c) Allow general practioners to jnovide maintenance therapies 
see S. 324 (Hatch) 

7) Reform International Anti-Drug Efforts 

*(a) Demilitarize anti-drug efforts in Latin America and along the U.S./Mexico border 

• oppose increased funding of military anti-drug efforts in S. 5, the Drug Free 
Century Act 

• enforce Lehy Amendment requiring Latin American anti-drug efforts paid for 
with U.S. funds respects human rights 

(b) End the certification process 

see Dodd/McCain Certification and Drug Trafficking Amendment to the Foreign 
Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs 1998 Appropriations bill; 
rejected on July 16, 1997; see also S. 596 (Boxer) 

(c) Reduce the environmental impact of drug eradication efforts in Latin America 

8) Establish an Expert Commission to Study America’s Current Drug Control Strategy 

see H.R. 1345 in 105* Congress (Cummings) 



192 


Attachment 3 



National Drug 
Control Strategy 
1999 


Network of Reform Groups 



193 






194 


The EHeethre National Drug Control Strategy 


This is a four page summary of The Effective National Drug Control Strategy - 
the first comprehensive alternative to the ‘War on Drugs.” The Effective 
National Drug Control Strategy was written by the Network of Reform 
Groups, a federation of two dozen oi^anizations representing 100,000 
members. The goal of The Effective Strategy is to make a safer and healthier 
America for our children, reduce the spread of disease related to drug use, 
lower crime rates related to the illegal drug market and end the racial 
injustice associated with current drug policy. Information on how to receive a 
full copy is available at the end of this summary. 


The need for a new model of drug control 

The current model of drug control relies primarily on law enforcement to seize drugs and imprison drug offenders. 
While these efforts have produced large numbers of arrests, incarcerations and seizures, drug overdose deaths have 
increased 540% since 1980 and drug-related problems have worsened:' emergency room visits, adolescent drug 
use, and the spread of disease (particularly AIDS and hepatitis) have also risen substantially and drug-related crime 
continues at high levels. In an effort to minimize drug-related crime, illness and death. The Ejfective National Drug 
Control Strategy advocates a policy which emphasizes public health approaches to drug control. 


How many people must we incarcerate for current drug policy to work? 

The drug war has succeeded in arresting and incarcerating large numbers of people. There are over 1 .7 million 
Americans behind bars. As of June 1996, 5.5 million Americans were under some form of control by the justice 
.ystem. This translates into 1 out of every 35 adults in the nation.* According to the Department of Justice, 85% 
of the increase in the federal prison population from 1985 to 1995 was due to drug convictions.* Figure 1 
illustrates the massive expansion of drug offenders in the jail and prison population, which has increased 
nearly 12-fold from 1980 to 1995, and a strikingly similar rise in drug overdose deaths over the same period. 
The graph cannot express the financial and psychological damage endured by the children and spouses of 
those incarcerated. Nor does it express the damage that certain communities and racial groups experience. 
For example, black males bom today have a nearly one in three chance of going to prison.' 



Figure 1 Sources; Bureau of Justice Statistics. Trends in US 
Correctional Populations, 1995. US Department of Justice; National 
Institute on Drug Abuse. 


Does the U.S. drug strategy protect children 
from drugs? 

Current government policy seeks to prevent children from gaining 
access to illegal substances. Since 1975, the federal govemmenthas 
been asking high school seniors how easy it is for them to obtain 
marijuana Illustrated by Figure 2 on the following page, 
adoles«rents’ access to marijuana is virtually unchanged by the drug 
war. In 1975, 87% of youths said it was “v^ easy” or "fairly easy” 
to obtain marijuana. Twenty-three years and millions of arrests later, 
89.6% said it was easily obtained. Has the drug war succeeded in 
reducing adolescents’ access to dmgs? 


• Dnicker. Dr. Emesi. (1998, JanTPeb.J Public Health Reports, 
“Dnig Protnbition and Public Health.” U.S. Public Health 
Service. VoL 1 14. 

I Bureau of Justice Statistics. (1997, August 14). Nation’s 
probation and parole population reached almost 3.9 million ' ' '* 
year. Press Release. Washington, DC: 

Department of Ju^ce. 

3 Bureau of Ju^ce Statistics. Prisoners in 1996. 

Washington. DC: Depaitment of Justice. 

* Bureau of Justice SUUistics. (1997, 

March). Ufetime Ui^hood of Going to 
Stale or Pedoal Pristm. p. 1 . Washington, 

De“ " ‘ 



PAID ADVERTISEMENT 





195 


The Etfeeiive National Drug Control Strategy 


The Drug War does not protect our youth 

Since 1 992, federal surveys show there has been a rise in adolescent drug use. In particular cocaine and heroin us . 

have been increasing among youth. Since 1991 
twice as many 8th grade students report using 
heroin and three times as many report using 
crack. This has coincided with record spending, 
record arrests and record incarceration rates. The 
drug war has escalated for decades, but has not 
resulted in less adolescent drug use. 


Drug crimes receive some of the most severe 
criminal sanctions in our legal system. Based on 
federal surveys of adolescent drug use and by 
definition of state and federal law, more than 50% 
of all high school seniors are drug criminals who 
should be imprisoned. Is this a realistic or 
^propriate approach to controlling juvenile drug 
use? If not, then why should only some be arrested? 
How do we determine who gets prison sentences 
and who does not? 

The current model of youth drug control 
essentially relies on the random chance of arrest, 
coupled with an increasing use of locker searches 
drug-sniffing dogs, and “just say no” televisio.^ 
ads to reduce adolescent drug use. These are 
unsophisticated approaches to youth drug use 
that are not based on strategies proven to work. 

Does the current drug control 
strategy reduce the supply of 
drugs and raise their price? 

The indicators of a successful supply-reduction 
effort are rising drug prices and dwreasing drug 
purity levels.* Using data supplied by the ONDCP 
(Office of National Drug Control Policy), it is clear 
^at the price of heroin has instep dropped 
significantiy over time, while its production has 
risen greatly. The price of cocaine has similarly dropped from $275.12 per gram in 1981 to $94.52 in 1996. 



Figure 2 Percent of high school seniors who say marijuana is 'very easy’ or ‘fairly 
easy’ to obtain. Source; NIDA. (1997). Monitoring the Future Survey. Table 12. 
“Long-term trends in perceived availability of drugs, twelfth graders.” 


LIFETIME USE OF ANY ILLICIT DRUG 

Drug Use Rises for All Ages 


*■ 



30.00% H 


20.00%^ 

' — 



1992 1993 1994 199S 1994 1997 1998 

— W— 1<Mh Gttide 12th Grade 


Figure 3 Source; NIDA. (1998) The Monitoring the Future Survey 1998. 
Washington, DC; Department of Health and Human Services. 



Despite massive investments in border patrols, overseas crop eradication efforts. Department of Defense 

involvement and arrests of drug smugglers and drug dealers, the drug war has not reduced the supply of dmgs 
nor made them more costly to obtain. 

The market prices for illegal drugs follow the same laws of supply and demand that apply to all 
commodities. The drug war created an artificially high commodity price, and these huge 
profit margins encouraged more drug producers to enter the market. Greater production 
created economies of scale with lower production costs. Since then, lower production 
lower production costs have allowed drug cartels to earn the same high profit 
margins with lower retail prices. The cartels accommodate for interdiction efforts 

5 ONDCP. (1998). Performance Measures of Effectiveness. Washington, DC. p. 13. 


PAID ADVERTISEMENT 






196 


The Effective National Drug Control Strategy 


by over-producing their commodity to account for the 
losses. Since a kilogram of raw opium has been 
reported to sell for $90 in Pakistan, but is worth 
$290,000 in the United States, law enforcement seizures 
at our borders have very little impact on cartel operations 
or profit^ility.® 


Does the current strategy protect 
public health? 

Easy availability, increased purity and lowered prices 
have resulted in high levels of ov^dose deaths and drug- 
related hospital emergency room visits. Figure 6 
illustrates the steady rise in overdose deaths as recorded 
by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). 

Even more alarming has been the devastating expansion 
of the HIV and Hepatitis C epidemics due to the 
prohibition on needle possession. Sharing of needles is 
an engine for the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. Each 
day 33 more people are infected with HIV due to injection 
drug use.^ The epidemics have been particularly onerous 
on African-American and Latino communities. By the 
end of 1997, it was estimated that more than 110,000 
African-Americans and 55,000 Latinos were living with 
injection-related AIDS or had already died from it.' 
These facts make it hard to avoid the conclusion that the 
current model of drug control: 1) does not reduce 
adolescent drug use; 2) does not reduce the supply of 
drugs; 3) does not reduce the harm caused by drugs. 

Figure 5 Source: ONDCP. 1998 National Drug Control Strategy. 

Table 20 . It IS time to develop a drug strategy 

that works. 

Since we are failing to reduce the supply and use of drugs, 
while incarcerating record numbers of drug offenders, we 
need to accept that criminal laws cannot effectively solve 
the complex issue of drug use. Indeed, there is mounting 
evidence that the extreme criminal sanctions we employ 
today may actually worsen some of the problems of drug 
abuse. The l^ffective National Drug Control Strategy 
provides a detailed alternative model of drug control 
based on sound research and empirical evidence, and 
was developed by a wide range of professional 
associations. The E[ifective Strategy emphasizes 
public health approaches, investment in our 
children and confronting the underlying 
economic and social problems, which are 
the root causes of drug abuse. 

* Associated Press. (1997, June 26). “U.N. estimates drug business equal to eight percent of worid trade.” 

’ Day, Dawn, Health Etncigetxy 1999: The Spread of Drug-Related AIDS aiKl Other Deadly 
African-Americans and Latinos. (1998). 

The Dogwood Center, p. 5. 

* Day, Dawn. (1998). pp. 1, 4. 




Figure 6 Source; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
Administration. Data fromihe Drug Abuse Warning Networ1i(DAWN}: 
Annual Medical Examiner Data [1980-1996]. 



Figure 4 Source: ONDCP. 1998 National Drug Control Strategy. 
Table 20. 


HEROIN: PURITY INCREASES DURING DRUG WAR 



PAID ADVERTISEMENT 






197 


The Efteetive National Drug Control Strategy 


The Effective Strategy seeks to balance law enforcement, treatment and prevention efforts. As this strategy takes, 
effect we expect that law enforcement’s role in drug control can be reduced further, to solely focusing on majc 
international drug smugglers - instead of its current emphasis on arresting individual drug users. We urge that five 
years after implementation, the policy be evaluated and a longer term strategy be developed. 



Figure 7 ONDCP National Drug Control Budget vs. The F^furtive. Drug Control Budget. 


Without increasing the federal drug control budget (currently $17.9 billion) by a single dime, we can adequately fund 

public health based drug control programs which are friendly to family values and are proven to work. These include: 

• After school programs, mentor programs and activities for youth which have been shown to be the most effective 
way to prevent adolescent drug use; 

• Treatment on request, as has been mandated by Federal law since 1988, so drug-dependent persons who want 
to stop their drug use can do so; 

• Rehabilitation programs including skills building, job training and education programs; 

• Treatment and rehabilitation designed for the specific needs of women, and easing access to Temporary Assistance 
to Needy Families and education benefits to women with substance abuse problems; 

• Disease prevention programs emphasizing education, syringe exchange and other public health strategies; 

• Alternatives to incarceration so that families can be kept together and people with drug problems can develop 
successful lives; 

• Educational activities from K through college so we keep kids in school and provide opportunities for the future 
rather than investing in prisons. 

By de-emphasizing law enforcement we can: 


• Dramatically reduce the prison population; 

• End racial disparities in drug arrests and imprisonment; 

• Restore civil liberties eroded as a result of the drug war; 


- End mandatory sentencing and restore judicial authority; 

Demilitarize law enforcement activities; 

Restore due process to property forfeiture; 

Reduce the burdens placed on our justice system by drug enforcement; 


View the entire report at: www.csdp.org 

If you would like more information or a hard copy of The Effective Strategy contact 
info@csdp.org or call 703-354-5694 or Fax 703-354-5695. 

Common Sense for Drug Policy, Kevin B. Zeese, President 


PAID ADVERTISEMENT 







198 


Mr. Mica. I would like to recognize Mr. Robert Maginnis, senior 
director of the Family Research Council. 

You are recognized. Welcome, sir. 

Mr. Maginnis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the com- 
mittee. 

Sir, I would ask to have my testimony submitted for the record. 

I also have five exhibits, actually No.'s 1 through 5 and No. 7, that 
I would like to show as I go through my testimony, if I may. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. Without objection, we will make that part 
of the record, and we would be glad to show your displays here. 

Mr. Maginnis. Legalizers will promote m;^hs, and we will prob- 
ably hear some today. The truth is that drug legalization, as the 
DEA indicated, will lead to more crime and violence, significantly 
higher social costs and ruin millions of lives from addiction and 
use. These tragic results promise severe consequences for the 
non using public as well. 

I also want to dismiss the spin given to the so-called quasi-legal- 
ization, "successes" like those in the Netherlands and Switzerland. 

There are five slides here I would like to show to indicate I vis- 
ited these countries numerous times and have seen their drug 
problems. I have discussed their bankrupt policies with govern- 
ment officials, drug treatment specialists, addicts and their fami- 
lies. 

Now, they took these, the first five, if you can just run through 
those, please, they took a very public embarrassment to Switzer- 
land, and these are only in Switzerland and not the Netherlands 
today, and they put this underground, basically. They hid it in 
shooting galleries, they hid it in heroin giveaway clinics, they hid 
it across the country. It still exists. It is just that it is not in a big 
forum right in the middle of Platzpitz Park in downtown Zurich or 
in Bern or some other countries, but they continue to have a real 
problem. 

I think it is interesting and worthwhile, noting that slide No. 7, 
if she would show that. You can't quite read this, but, basically, it 
is an advertisement, a giant billboard in one of the Swiss cities 
that says. Bill Clinton smoked pot, and he didn't become a junkie. 
The message is clear. They are taking our cultural, our political 
icons in this country and using it to promote their liberal drug pol- 
icy. Very disturbing. 

Unfortunately, I have seen much the same in my two visits here 
recently in the Netherlands. 

I will continue with my statement, sir. 

Unfortunately, in this country, I see a growing tolerance for lib- 
eral drug policies such as medical use of marijuana and free nee- 
dles for junkies. These radical ideas are seldom about compassion 
but mostly part of the legalization slippery slope. The recent Insti- 
tute of Medicine report makes mincemeat of smoked pot as medi- 
cine, and recent peer reviewed medical journal studies show the 
hollow ground under needle pushers. 

Two ideas are key. First, drug intolerance does work; and, sec- 
ond, Americans and especially those harmed by drug use under- 
stand that legalization is a deadly path. 

Our military's experience shows that drug intolerance does work. 
In 1980, 37 percent of our service members reported using drugs. 



199 


Some units were nearly incapable of doing their mission because of 
drug and alcohol abuse. Today, illegal use in the military stands 
at 2.7 percent. That is a victory for our country. 

Now, the armed forces won the drug use war by enforcing tough 
rules. Drug use came to mean either immediate discharge or a sin- 
gle chance at treatment. Frequent and random drug testing radi- 
cally cut casual use as well. 

I was an Army company commander in Europe during the early 
1980's when the military cracked down on drug use. As a com- 
mander, I supervised testing, ordered soldiers to treatment and dis- 
ciplined or discharged others. We cleaned the ranks. Today's mili- 
tary remains just as tough on drugs and is much better as a result. 

The military's tough antidrug program offers valuable lessons for 
American society. First, aggressive use of testing ought to be em- 
ployed where legal. Second, promotion of intolerance with stiff 
sanctions must become the rule. Third, treatment with the threat 
of sanctions like today's drug courts works. And, most importantly, 
parents, friends and local leaders must stay involved. 

Americans approve of tough drug laws and oppose legalization. 

I would point out our survey that we do every year. We found 
that when told about the high potency of modern marijuana, 7 of 
10 voters oppose l^alization. Nearly two-thirds of voters believe 
that legalizing cocaine and heroin would increase violent crime. 

L^alization would radically increase use, which would impact 
the innocent as well. Users are known to terrorize their families 
and neighbors with violent acts or to steal from them. Too often, 
where children are involved with a drug-using adult, abuse and ne- 
glect are common. Welfare recipients on drugs stay on the public 
dole much longer. In some cities like Baltimore, most felony sus- 
pects test positive for illicit drugs. 

The bankrupt notion that this country would legalize drugs is es- 
pecially disconcerting to the average citizen who doesn't want to 
make drugs easier for kids to get. This strongly held view is sup- 
ported by a May 1999 Gallup public opinion survey that found that 
9 of every 10 Americans believe increased violence is linked with 
drug and alcohol use by school age children. 

In conclusion, I urge you to reject the mythology of legalizers. 
The use of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and 
heroin cause widespread damage and death. Making these sub- 
stances legal would pave this country's path to social catastrophe. 
Thank you. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you for your testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Maginnis follows:] 



200 



Testimony before 

The Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources 
United States House of Representatives 
June 16, 1999 

“The Pros and Cons of Drug Legalization, Decriminalization and Harm Reduction” 

by 

Robert L. Maginnis 

Senior Director, National Security & Foreign Affairs 
Family Research Council 
Washington, D.C. 


Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I appreciate the committee’s invitation to participate in this panel. 

I strongly oppose the legalization of drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin. 

Legalizers will promote myths. The truth is that drug legalization will lead to more crime and 
violence, significantly higher social costs and ruin millions of lives from addiction and use. 

These tragic results promise severe consequences for the non-using public as well. I also dismiss 
the spin given to the so-called quasi-legalization “successes” like those in The Netherlands and 
Switzerland. I have visited these countries numerous times and have seen their drug problems. I 
have discussed their bankrupt policies with government officials, drug treatment specialists, 
addicts and their families. 

Unfortunately, in this country, I see a growing societal tolerance for liberal drug policies such as 
the “medical” use of marijuana and free needles for junkies. These radical ideas are seldom 
about compassion but mostly part of the legalization slippery slope. The recent Institute of 
Medicine report makes mincemeat of smoked pot as “medicine,” and recent peer reviewed 
medical journal studies show the hollow ground under needle pushers. 

Two ideas are key. First, drug intolerance does work and secondly, Americans, and especially 
those harmed by drug use, understand that legalization is a deadly path. 

Our military’s experience shows that drug intolerance works. In 1980, 36.7 percent of our 
service members reported using drugs. Some units were nearly incapable of doing their mission 


Family Research Council 


801 G Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001 • (202) 393-2100 • FAX (202) 393-2134 • Internet www.frc.org 





201 


because of drug and alcohol use. Today, illegal drug use in the military stands at 2.7 percent. 
That’s a victory for the country. 

The armed forces won the drug use wax by enforcing tough rules. Drug use came to mean either 
immediate discharge or a single chance at treatment. Frequent and random drug testing radically 
cut casual use as well. 

1 was an Army company commander in Europe during the early 1980s when the military cracked 
down on drug use. As a commander, I supervised testing, ordered soldiers to treatment and 
disciplined or discharged others. We cleaned the ranks. Today’s military remains just as tough 
on drugs and is much better as a result. 

The military’s tough anti-drug program offers valuable lessons for America’s society. First, 
aggressive use of testing ought to be employed where legal. Second, promotion of intolerance 
with stiff sanctions must become the rule. Third, treatment with the threat of sanctions like 
today’s drug courts works. Most importantly, parents, friends and local leaders must stay 
involved. 

Americans approve of tough drug laws and oppose legalization of drugs like marijuana, cocaine 
and heroin. A 1999 national voter survey commissioned by the Family Research Council found: 

• When told about the high potency of some modem marijuana, 7 of 10 voters oppose 
legalization. 

• Nearly two-thirds of voters believe that legalizing cocaine and heroin would increase violent 
crime. 

Legalization would radically increase use, which will impact the innocent as well. Users are 
known to terrorize their families and neighbors with violent acts or steal from them. Too often, 
where children are involved with a drug-using adult, abuse and neglect are common. Welfare 
recipients on drugs stay on the public dole much longer. In some cities like Baltimore, 

Maryland, most felony suspects test positive for illicit drugs. Easier access to drugs will make 
these problems worse. 

The bankrupt notion that this country would legalize drugs is especially disconcerting to the 
average citizen who doesn’t want to make drug use easier for kids. This strongly held view is 
supported by a May 1999 Gallup public opinion survey that found that nine of every ten 
Americans believe increased violence is linked with drug and alcohol use among school-aged 
youth. 

Parents of adolescents are especially opposed to legalization. A Colorado mother now caring for 
her 37-year-old son, who ruined his life as an adolescent drug user, said, “[a]ll family members 
are abused by the drug user. This can be physical, verbal or mental abuse. The family’s world 
stops and everything is put on hold and centered around the drug user.” She opposes making 
drugs easier to obtain because it will result in many more ruined lives. 



202 


A Chicago attorney wrestled with his high school son’s long-term marijuana addiction. The 
attorney explained, “The marijuana was so readily available and used, that [his son] felt it was 
perfectly okay to use and that we [his parents] were way off base in our objection to Ms use.” 
Today the boy is drug-free, but the father explains that his son “is convinced that he would have 
progressed to other drugs” had he not found help. 

This father argues that “legalization of marijuana or other drugs would eliminate a powerful 
argument that we have as parents .stating that it is illegal and that one is subject to criminal 
liability for possession or use. . , . We as parents need a strong message, backed up by society, our 
schools, churches, government, and each other — that marijuana is harmful and emotionally 
addictive.” 

An Indiana woman recently expressed her opposition to legalization. Her husband, a carpenter, 
saw a fellow worker who is an addict nail his foot to the floor and didn’t know it until he found 
he couldn’t move. She asks, “Do we really want it legal for surgeons, pilots, school bus drivers, 
heavy equipment operators, train engineers and military leaders to be flying high without a 
plane? Most in the real world say ‘no.’” 

I urge you to reject the mythology of legalizers. The use of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, 
methamphetamine, and heroin cause widespread damage and death. Making these substances 
legal would pave this country’s path to social catastrophe. 



203 



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LEGALIZATION OF DRUGS: 

THE MYTHS AND THE FACTS 

by 

Robert L. Maginnis 

Despite data which strongly supports the continuation of effective drug abuse 
prevention, treatment and enforcement programs, some prominent Americans 
support legalizing illicit drugs. For example: 

• George Shultz, former President Reagan's Secretary of State, says that 
"Legalization would destroy dealer profits and remove their incentive to get 
young people addicted."* 

• Nobel laureate in economics Milton Friedman says that the criminalization of 
certain drugs imdermines respect for the law and creates "a decadent moral 
climate." He states that legalizing drugs like marijuana and cocaine would "thus 
strike a double blow; reduce crime activity directly, and at the same time increase 
the efficacy of law enforcement and crime prevention."^ 

• U.S. Federal District Judge Robert Sweet says the nation should learn the lesson 
of prohibition and the crime that ensued when alcohol was illegal. "Look at 
tobacco, the most addictive drug, and we've reduced [use] by a third."^ 

• Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke commented on former Surgeon General Joycelyn 
Elders' call for a study to legalize drugs. "I think what the Surgeon General said 
was absolutely courageous and correct."^ 

• Aryeh Neier, president of billionaire philanthropist George Soros's Open Society 
Institute, states, "The current [drug] policy is wasteful and it promotes crime and 
disease.... From every standpoint, it is a failure."* 

Many other officials disagree. 

Lee P. Brown, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the 
White House, labels legalization "a formula for self-destruction"^ and warns that 
decriminalization of drugs would mean genocide for the black community.’ 

Wayne Roques, a much-published Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman, says, 
"Drug policies which legalize drugs would decimate the inner cities and gravely 
wound the suburban populations.... Legalization is a morally and intellectually 
bankrupt concept."* 

IS95C2DR 


204 


Most Americans want to know the truth about drugs and expect public policy to be based on 
facts and not myths. Yet myths about legalization abound. Consider: 

Myth #1 : Illicit Drugs Are No Worse Than Legal Drugs Like Alcohol 

And Tobacco. 

Marianne Apostolides of the pro-legalization Lindesmith Center wrote in the Wall Street 
Journal, "Marijuana is safer than other substances such as nicotine and steroids. Most people 
who use marijuana have no problem with it"^ 

Yale law professor Steven B. Duke, who wrote America's Longest War: Rethinking Our Tragic 
Crusade Against Drugs, believes, "Our biggest, worst drug problem is the tobacco problem. 
Legalizing drugs will reduce the use of alcohol, which is far more damaging than any popular 
illegal drug."”^ 

The fact that some dangerous substances are legal does not mean that all dangerous substances 
should also be legal -- especially when there are significant differences between the substances in 
question. Clearly, alcohol and tobacco can be quite harmful. They have a major impact on 
morbidity and mortality in the United States. 

• Alcohol is a cause or contributing factor in most traffic deaths and nearly half of all murders, 
sexual assaults, robberies and other violent crimes. More than 40,000 babies are bom at risk 
each year because their mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy.” 

• Similarly, tobacco kills over 400,000 people each year in the United States, and the British 
medical journal, Lancet, estimates that tobacco is the cause of death for 20 percent of the 
people in the developed world. 

• Nevertheless, a given dose of cocaine or crack is far more dangerous than a drink of alcohol. 
Alcohol has an addiction rate of 10 percent, whereas cocaine has an addiction rate as high as 
75 percent.” 

And when cocaine is combined with marijuana, it can be deadly. According to a study in 
Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, an increase in heart rate due to cocaine was 
markedly enhanced if preceded by smoking marijuana.''' The dual use creates greater risk of 
overdose and more severe cardiovascular effects from the cocaine. An article in Schizophrenia 
Research found that up to 60 percent of schizophrenic patients used non-prescription 
psychoactive drugs.” 

By itself, marijuana is a dangerous drug as well. A joint of marijuana is far more carcinogenic 
than a cigarette. Microbiologist Tom Klein of the University of South Florida reports, "We've 
tried working with [marijuana smoke], and it's so toxic, you just get it near the immune system 
and it [the immune system] dies." Klein found that THC [tetrahydrocannabinol -- the active 
ingredient in marijuana] suppresses some immune system responses and enhances others.” 


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A Study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that marijuana smoke is often 
contaminated by the fungus, aspergillusd’ Another study in the Journal of the American Medical 
Association found that cases of allergic sinus infection with the same fungus came from 
recreational use of contaminated marijuana/* 

A study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that cannabis [marijuana] users react very 
slowly in performing motor tasks and suffer disability in personal, social and vocational areas. 
They also indicate a higher score for neurotic and psychotic behavior.'^ 

A study in American Review of Respiratory Diseases found that marijuana smoke is as irritating 
as tobacco smoke; when used together, marijuana and tobacco cause the small oxygen- 
exchanging parts of the lung to shed cells that first become inflamed/'’ 

A 1 995 study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that illicit drugs such as 
marijuana and cocaine can interfere with male sperm production/* 

A study in Cancer found that the children of women who smoke marijuana are 1 1 times more 
likely to contract leukemia/^ Mothers who smoke marijuana also contribute to low birth weight 
and developmental problems for their children and increase the risk of abnormalities similar to 
those caused by fetal alcohol syndrome by as much as 500 percent/^ 

Kasi Sridhar, a professor at the University of Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Research 
Center, reports finding large numbers of marijuana smokers among younger cancer patients. 
While only 17 percent of the patients in his study were marijuana smokers, two-thirds of the 
patients younger than 45 smoked cannabis.^'* 

Since the 1970s there have been more than 10,500 scientific studies which demonstrate the 
adverse consequences of marijuana use.^^ Many of these studies draw upon data collected when 
most of the marijuana available in the U.S. was far less potent than that available today. Indeed, 
drug czar Lee Brown says that marijuana on the streets today is up to 10 times more potent than a 
generation ago. This fact contributes to its addictive nature.^*^ 

Myth #2: Legalization Will Drive The Crime Rate Down. 

Syndicated columnist Abigail Van Buren endorses legalization. She wrote in her column, "Dear 
Abby," that, "The legalization of drugs would put drug dealers out of business." She added that it 
would also reduce the prison population and create a perpetual source of tax revenue.^’ 

Former Surgeon General Elders told a National Press Club luncheon, "Sixty percent of violent 
crimes are drug- or alcohol-related.... Many times they’re robbing, stealing and all of these things 
to get money to buy drugs.... I do feel that we would markedly reduce our crime rate if drugs 
were legalized."^* 


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Professor Steven Duke told an America Online computer network audience, "Without a doubt, 
the problem of violent crime would be ameliorated [by legalizing drugs]. I think drug 
prohibition causes half of our serious crime."^^ 

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Ma.) supports legalization. "We make a mistake, with the serious law 
enforcement problems we have today, to get the police to arrest people who smoke marijuana.... 
We are wasting $10 billion a year trying to physically interdict drugs. 

The new president of the American Bar Association, George Bushnell, favors legalizing 
marijuana and cocaine. He believes legalization will cut crirne.^' 

Legalizers believe most black market and organized syndicate involvement in the drug business 
would die and that drug-induced crime would deo-ease with drug legalization. But these 
assertions are not supported by the facts. 

The United States experimented with legalization and it failed. From 1919 to 1922, government- 
sponsored clinics handed out free drugs to addicts in hopes of controlling their behavior. The 
effort failed. Society's revulsion against drugs, combined with enforcement, successfully 
eradicated the menace at that time.^^ 

California decriminalized marijuana in 1976, and, within the first six months, arrests for driving 
under the influence of drugs rose 46 percent for adults and 71.4 percent for juveniles.^^ 
Decriminalizing marijuana in Alaska and Oregon in the 1970s resulted in the doubling of use.^^ 

Patrick Murphy, a court-appointed lawyer for 31,000 abused and neglected children in Chicago, 
says that more than 80 percent of the cases of physical and sexual abuse of children now involve 
drugs. There is no evidence that legalizing drugs will reduce these crimes, and there is evidence 
that suggests it would worsen the problem.^^ 

Legalization would decrease drug distribution crime because most of those activities would 
become lawful. But would legalization necessarily reduce other drug-related crime like robbery, 
rape, and assault? Presumably legalization would reduce the cost of drugs and thus addicts might 
commit fewer crimes to pay for their habits. But less expensive drugs might also feed their habit 
better, and more drugs means more side effects like paranoia, irritability and violence. 
Suggestions that crime can somehow be eliminated by redefining it are spurious. 

Free drugs or legalizing bad drugs would not make criminal addicts into productive citizens. Dr. 
Mitchell S. Rosenthal, expert on drugs and adolescents and president of Phoenix House, a 
resident treatment center in New York, said, "If you give somebody free drugs you don't turn him 
into a responsible employee, husband, or father."^*^ 


The Justice Department reports that most inmates (77.4 percent male and 83.6 percent female) 
have a drug history and the majority were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of 


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their current offense. And a surprisingly large number of convicted felons admit their crime 
motive was to get money for drugs. For example, 12 percent of all violent offenses and 24.4 
percent of all property offenses were drug-money motivated.” 

Even if drugs were legalized some restrictions still would be necessary. For example, restricting 
the sale of legalized drugs to minors, pregnant women, police, military, pilots and prisoners 
would be necessary but would still provide a black market niche. 

Pro-legalizers contend that government could tax drugs, thus off-setting the social costs of abuse. 
But history proves that efforts to tax imported drugs like opium created a black market. Earlier 
this century Chinese syndicates smuggled legal opium into this country to avoid tariffs. Even 
today, there is ample crime based on the legal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. For example, 
organized crime smuggles cigarettes from states with low tobacco taxes into those with high 
taxes, and such activities are accompanied by violence against legal suppliers.” 

If now-illegal drugs were decriminalized, the government would have to determine the allowable 
potency for commercial drugs. But no government can okay toxic substances, so a black market 
would be created for higher potency drugs and those that remained banned, like the new 
"designer drugs." 

Even pro-drug forces do not call for blanket legalization of drugs like LSD, crack, or PCP. 
Therefore, we would continue to have drug-related crime and illegal drug distribution 
organizations that would push these drugs on youngsters, who would be more easily induced into 
drug abuse through the availability and social sanctioning of marijuana. 

Drug abuse is closely correlated with crime. The National Youth Survey found that 25 percent 
of youths who admitted to cocaine or heroin use also committed 40 percent of all the index 
crimes reported. The survey also found that youths who tested positive for cannabinoids have 
more than twice as many non-drug-related felony referrals to Juvenile court as compared with 
those found to have tested negative.” 

The extent to which individuals commit "drug-related crimes only" is overstated. Most 
incarcerated "drug" offenders violated other laws as well. Princeton University professor John 
Dilulio found that only 2 percent - i.e., 700 - of those in federal prisons were convicted of pure 
drug possession. They generally committed other and violent crimes to earn a sentence.*^® 
However, 70 percent of current inmates were on illegal drugs when arrested and, if drugs become 
cheaper, violent crime could reasonably be expected to increase.^^ 

Myth #3: Legalization Makes Economic Sense. 

Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke believes drugs can be a revenue source for the government. 
"Remove the profit motive, and you put the dealers out of business... have government stores and 
buy marijuana cigarettes... nicely wrapped, purity and potency guaranteed with a tax stamp. 


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Ethan Nadelmann, a former Princeton University professor and now director of the Lindesmith 
Center, states; "Make sure that junkies have access to clean needles; make it easy for addicts to 
obtain methadone; give heroin-maintenance programs a chance to work; decriminalize 
marijuana; stop spending billions on incarcerating drug users and drug dealers. We know we can 
reduce drug abuse more effectively by spending that money on education, pre- and post-natal 
cai'e and job-training programs."'*^ 

Nadelmann told the Rolling Stone audience, "...The Pentagon's interdiction efforts, which cost 
U.S. taxpayers close to S 1 billion... had no impact on the flow of drugs.... [The] drug war has 
been most efficient at filling up the country's prisons and jails. 

Dr. Robert Dupont, founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and 
president of the Institute for Behavior and Health in Rockville, Maryland, refutes the economic 
myth. "We now have two legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco. We have 113 million current users 
of alcohol and 60 million tobacco users. The reason marijuana and cocaine use is so much lower 
is because they are illegal drugs. Cocaine and marijuana are more attractive than alcohol and 
tobacco. If we remove the prohibition of illegality we would have a number of users of 
marijuana and cocaine similar to that of tobacco and alcohol.'"*^ 

Health costs associated with legalization would be very high. And legalization would have 
consequences elsewhere. For example, the Drug Enforcement Administration says legalization 
of drugs will cost society between $140-210 billion a year in lost productivity and job-related 
accidents. And insurance companies would pass on accident expenses to consumers.'*^ 

The Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University found that in 1990 dollars the societal cost 
of substance abuse is in excess of $238 billion, of which $67 billion is for illicit drugs. The 
report states, "As the number one health problem in the country, substance abuse places a major 
burden on the nation's health care system and contributes to the high cost of health care. In fact, 
substance abuse - the problematic use of alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco - places an enormous 
burden on American society as a whole. 

The claim that legalization provides an opportunity to tax new products is misleading. For 
example, total tax revenue from the sale of alcohol is $13.1 billion a year, but alcohol extracts 
over $100 billion a year in social costs such as health care and lost productivity.'^® There is no 
evidence to demonstrate that taxing cocaine, heroin, and marijuana would bolster revenues any 
more than do alcohol and tobacco, nor would the revenue from such taxation offset the social and 
medical costs these illicit drugs would impose. 

The pro-drug lobby argues that legalization will save on enforcement costs. But elimination of 
drug enforcement would provide little funding for other uses. The government now spends 3.3 
percent of its budget on the criminal justice system and half of that goes to enforcement. Less 
than 1 2 percent of law enforcement money goes to drug law enforcement.''® 


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Former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph Califano cautions that in a post- 
legalization world, "Madison Avenue hucksters would make it as attractive to do a few lines [of 
cocaine] as to down a few beers."^ This would line the pockets of legal drug producers, but it 
will clearly hurt the American taxpayer and American families. 

Myth #4: Criminalization Of Drugs Is Like Alcohol Prohibition. 

Conservative columnist William F. Buckley, Jr., writes that the "...New York Bar in 1986 
advocated the repeal of all federal legislation dealing with drugs, leaving it to the states to write 
their own policies. This will remind you of the 21st Amendment: when prohibition was repealed 
in 1933, each state was left free to write its own liquor laws."^' 

Lindesmith Institute director Nadelmann argues that "Prohibition... financed the rise of organized 
crime and failed miserably as social policy. Likewise, the war on drugs has created new, well- 
financed, and violent criminal conspiracies and failed to achieve any of its goals."^^ 

Prohibition was a solitary effort by this country while the rest of the world was essentially "wet." 
However, most drugs are illegal throughout much of the world. This makes enforcement much 
easier. 

History shows that prohibition curbed alcohol abuse. Alcohol use declined by 30 to 50 percent; 
deaths from cirrhosis of the liver fell from 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 to 10.7 in 1929; and 
admissions to state mental hospitals for alcohol psychosis fell from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 
4.7 in 1928.^^ Mark Moore, Harvard professor of criminal justice, wrote: "The real lesson of 
prohibition is that society can, indeed, make a dent in the consumption of drugs through laws."^'* 

The DBA found that during prohibition, suicide rates decreased 50 percent. The incidence of 
alcohol-related arrests also declined 50 percent.” 

Yale history professor David F. Musto comments on the myth that prohibition is a good parallel 
for illicit drug legalization: "Unless drugs were legal for everyone, including children... illicit 
sale of drugs would continue. Legalization would create more drug-addicted babies, not to 
mention drug-impaired drivers."” 

Myth #5: Other Nations Have Successfully Legalized Drugs. 

Mr. Nadelmann points to foreign nations when he writes, "We can learn much from Europe and 
Australia, where governments have turned their backs on the _war on drugs._ They began by 
accepting the obvious: that it is both futile and dangerous to try to create a drug-free society."” 

Dr. John Marks of Liveipool, England promotes Great Britain's "enlightened" drug programs. 
"The results are zero drug-related deaths, zero HIV infection among injecting drug takers, a... 
reduction of.. 96 percent [in] acquisitive crime. And perhaps most puzzling of all, a fall in the 
incidence of addiction, among the public at large of.. 92 percent."” 


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210 


History provides evidence that legalization of drugs in foreign nations has not been successful. 
For example, opium was legalized in China earlier this century. That decision resulted in 90 
million addicts and it took a half-century to repair the damage.^’ 

Egypt allowed unrestricted trade of cocaine and heroin in the 1920s. An epidemic of addiction 
resulted. Even in Iran and Thailand, countries where drugs are readily available, the prevalence 
of addiction continues to soar.^ 

Modern-day Netherlands is often cited as a country which has successfully legalized drugs. 
Marijuana is sold over the counter and police seldom arrest cocaine and heroin users. But 
official tolerance has led to significant increases in addiction. 

Amsterdam's officials blame the significant rise in crime on the liberal drug policy. The city's 
7,000 addicts are blamed for 80 percent of all property crime and Amsterdam’s rate of burglary is 
now twice that of Newark, New Jersey.^’ Drug problems have forced the city to increase the size 
of the police force and the city fathers are now rethinking the drug policy 

Dr. K. F. Gunning, president of the Dutch National Committee on Drug Prevention, cites some 
revealing statistics about drug abuse and crime. Cannabis use among students increased 250 
percent from 1984 to 1992. During the same period, shootings rose 40 percent, car thefts 
increased 62 percent, and hold-ups rose 69 percent.^ 

Sweden legalized doctor prescriptions of amphetamines in 1965. During the first year of 
legalization, the number of intravenous "speed" addicts rose 88.5 percent. A study of men 
arrested during the legalization period showed a high correlation between intravenous use and a 
variety of crimes.®'’ 

Dr. Nils Bejorot, director of the Swedish Carnegie Institute and professor of social medicine at 
the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, believes the solution to the growing drug problem is 
consistent social and legal harassment of both users and dealers.®® 

Great Britain experimented with controlled distribution of heroin between 1959 and 1968. 
According to the British MedicalJournal, the number of heroin addicts doubled every sixteen 
months and the increase in addicts was accompanied by an increase in criminal activity as well.®® 
And British authorities found that heroin addicts have a very good chance of dying prematurely. 
On the crime front, Scotland Yard had to increase its narcotics squad 100 percent to combat the 
crime caused by the "legal" addicts.®’ 

The Swiss opened a "legalized drug" area in Zurich seven years ago and local addicts were given 
drugs, clean needles, and emergency medical care. Unfortunately, the liberal policy backfired 
and the number of addicts surged to 3,500; violence surged, too. "Needle Park," as it came to be 
known, was a place of open warfare among rival gangs, and even police faced gunfire. Their cars 

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were attacked and overturned. In February 1995, officials ended the experiment, conceding that 
it had evolved into a grotesque spectacle.^* 

In April 1 994, the mayors of 2 1 major European cities formed a group called "European Cities 
Against Drugs," an acknowledgement that legalization had failed.^ 

There are some countries, especially in the Middle East, which extract a high price for drug 
trafficking. These countries enjoy relative freedom from the plague of drug abuse and crime 
associated with illicit sales. This is never mentioned by legalization proponents. 

Myth #6: Legalization Would Lead To Health Benefits. 

Nadelmann states, "We should immediately decriminalize the sale and possession of small 
amounts of marijuana and make it easily available by prescription to those suffering from cancer, 
AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other diseases."’® He tells Rolling Stone readers, "DEA's own 
administrative law judge Francis Young declared in 1988, marijuana is possibly _one of the 
safest therapeutically active substances known to man._"’' 

Arnold S. Trebach, former president of the Drug Policy Foundation, calls for the medical use of 
certain illegal drugs. He claims there is "no scientific or ethical reason why government denies 
heroin and marijuana to people suffering from cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and other 
diseases."’^ 

In January 1 994 the Clinton Administration decided to review the federal ban against the use of 
marijuana for medical purposes. Allen St. Pierre, deputy director of the National Organization 
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), commented on the review decision: "It's 
encouraging to see that the public health service is going to get information about the efficacy of 
marijuana as a therapeutic agent.... If marijuana can never be made available to people suffering 
pain or going blind, it's never going to be legalized more generally."’^ 

Legalization advocates cite cases like that of James Burton, who has glaucoma. Drug agents 
seized his home for growing marijuana, and he now lives in the Netherlands where "I can buy or 
grow marijuana here legally, and if I don't have the marijuana, I'll go blind."’^ 

Burton has a rare form of low-tension glaucoma. At Burton's trial, ophthalmologist Dr. John 
Merritt testified that Burton needed marijuana to keep him from going blind.’^ 

Others claim that marijuana can be used to treat the side-effects of chemotherapy such as nausea 
and vomiting and the "wasting" phenomenon associated with AIDS. 

There is substantial and contradictory evidence indicating that illicit drugs should not be 
legalized for medical purposes. Most advocates for medical use of illicit drugs only address 
marijuana. Consider the evidence: 


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• Philip Lee, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced in July 1994, "The 
scientific evidence doesn't support using mmijuana to treat glaucoma or nausea caused by 
AIDS or cancer treatment." Harvard medical school professor Lester Grinspoon has 
challenged Lee's decision. Grinspoon said there is only anecdotal evidence that marijuana 
smoking is beneficial because "the government has prevented the scientific studies for 
years. 

• The DEA reports that marijuana is not accepted as medicine by a single American health 
association.’’ 

• Dr. David Ettinger, professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of 
Medicine, states, "There is no indication that marijuana is effective in treating nausea and 
vomiting resulting from radiation treatment or other causes."’* 

• A research review published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy found no scientific studies 
that confirmed the benefit of the use of crude marijuana on HIV-wasting syndrome. The use 
of marijuana might actually be counter-productive because it poses a needless and serious 
endangerment to the already compromised immune systems of AIDS patients.’^ 

• Two studies in a 1991 book entitled Drugs of Abuse: Immunity and Immunodeficiency found 
that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, suppresses or interferes with the function of 
white blood cells, which fight bacterial infection.^ Any reduction in the fighting power of 
white blood cells could accelerate an HIV-positive patient's transition to AIDS. Additionally, 
marijuana increases the health risk to AIDS patients because the smoke causes pulmonary 
problems. 

• Glaucoma studies found that THC can decrease intraocular pressure. However, in order to 
ingest sufficient THC, the patient would have to be stoned all day. Alcohol also decreases 
intraocular pressure. According to Dr. Keith Green, who has served on the boards of eight 
eye journals, "Marijuana... has little potential future as a glaucoma medication."** 

Myth #7: Legalize To Reduce Addiction Rates. 

Mayor Schmoke told the 1993 Drug Policy Foundation conference, "The United States' war on 
drugs and similar campaigns in other countries have failed. Only a harm reduction policy, led by 
public health experts and emphasizing treatment, can be expected to reduce addiction."®^ 

Previous efforts to legalize drugs like marijuana saw an increase in abuse. The National Families 
in Action found that during the decade when 1 1 states decriminalized marijuana, regular use 
tripled among adolescents, doubled among young adults, and quadrupled among older adults.*^ 

Today, there are more than 8,000 emergency room visits for marijuana abuse each year, and 
77,000 persons each year are admitted to treatment programs for marijuana abuse.*'* 


10 



213 


It is alleged that the problem may be worse today because marijuana is more addictive. The pro- 
legalization Lindesmith Institute challenged this in a recent Wall Street Journal letter. "The 
myth that marijuana is three times as potent [and therefore more addictive] as it was in the 1970s 
is based on a statistically invalid comparison. The potency of today’s marijuana is measured by a 
large and diverse number of confiscated marijuana samples. The potency of 1970s marijuana 
was measured by a small and unrepresentative number of DEA-seized samples. 

But the DEA cites tests of THC content. For example, the marijuana seized at Woodstock '69 
had 1 percent THC; in 1974 the average THC was 3.6 percent; in 1984 it was 4.4 percent; and 
samples analyzed in 1992 were 29.86 percent. Based on these findings, DEA claims that 
marijuana may be between 30 and 60 times as potent as were the joints in the 1960s.^^ 

ONDCP director Lee Brown confirms the addictive nature of marijuana. "The public may have 
grown more blase about marijuana over the years; the marijuana on the streets today is up to 10 
times more potent than that available to teenagers a generation ago."^’ 

Cocaine is, of course, more addictive than marijuana. President William Howard Taft identified 
cocaine as " [Mjore appalling in its effects than any other habit-forming drug in the United 
States." He wanted it banned back in 1910. And the ranks of cocaine addicts grew before the 
substance was outlawed in 1915.** 

During the late 1960s, Dr. Marie Nyswander experimented with opiate addicts at the Rockefeller 
University, giving them free morphine, and saw the addicts’ daily tolerance for morphine rise 
swiftly. Her partner, Dr. Vincent Dole, commented, "The doses on which you could keep them 
comfortable kept going up and up; the addicts were never really satisfied or happy. It was not an 
encouraging experience."*^ 

Nyswander noted, "Most drug abusers simply want to get high. Because the body daily develops 
more tolerance for abused drugs, addicts must use escalating dosages to achieve euphoria."®^ 

The DEA says that up to 75 percent of crack cocaine users could become addicts. And Mitchell 
Rosenthal believes that cheap and legal cocaine would increase addiction. He explains that 
"given unlimited access to cocaine, lab animals will consume increasingly greater amounts until 
they die.... [He points out that] in the U.S. there are between 650,000 and 2.4 million cocaine 

addicts."^' 

Dr. Mark Gold, formerly the research director at Fair Oaks Hospital in Summit, New Jersey, now 
a professor at the University of Florida medical school and a recognized expert on cocaine, 
states, "Whereas one out often alcohol users become alcoholics, one out of four users of cocaine 
become addicted. If, for example, cocaine becomes legalized and use rose from 6 million to 60 
million, this would mean we would have 15 million addicts in need of treatment, without 
prospects for a complete cure, constantly relapsing."®^ 


11 



214 


Dr. Herbert Kieber of Columbia University suggests that legalizing cocaine would increase use 
up to sixfold. And Joseph A. Califano, founding president of the Center on Addiction and 
Substance Abuse at Columbia University, notes that any "stamp of legality" on cocaine would 
lead to big increases in the number of addicts and "light a new flame beneath health care 
spending."®^ 


Myth #8: Legalization Is A Civil Liberties Issue. 

NORML's Allen St. Pierre states, "If you took the illegality out, pot wouldn't mean anything to 
rappers.... [B]ut it's an injustice they can sing about."^ 

Chicago commodities trader Richard Dennis has contributed more than $1 million to the pro- 
legalization Drug Policy Foundation. He opposes criminal penalties for drug use and states, "It's 
a self-evident proposition that people shouldn't go to jail for things they do to themselves. 

To legalize behavior is in large measure to condone it. DBA agent Wayne Roques visits many 
high schools in Florida to discuss illicit drugs. At every session at least one student defends use 
of illicit drugs explaining, "Surgeon General Elders supports legalization. So drugs must be 

okay.'"'^ 

Illicit drug use is not a victimless crime because the user, his family, and society suffer social and 
economic costs. For example, drug use by pregnant mothers causes in utero damage to the child. 
It increases the risk of mortality threefold and the risk of low birthweight fourfold. Drug abuse 
is a key factor in most child abuse cases. In Philadelphia, cocaine is implicated in half of the 
cases in which parents beat their children to death, and in 80 percent of all abuse cases. 

In the nation’s capital, 90 percent of reported child abusers are also illicit drug abusers. In nearby 
Maryland, one-third of all car accidents involve drivers who test positive for marijuana. And a 
few years ago, a Conrail disaster took the lives of 16 and hurt another 175, because the train 
conductors were intoxicated with illegal drugs.’^ If those drugs were legal, the result would have 
been no less lethal to the innocent victims. 

Conclusion 

There is no "civil right" to do what is wrong or harmful to yourself, your family, or your society. 


The facts show that legalization is a mistake for America because: 

• Illegal drugs are more addictive and dangerous than the legal drugs alcohol and tobacco, 
which is verified by thousands of scientific studies. 

• Legalization would result in more crime such as driving while intoxicated; child abuse, 
including child pornography; random violent crime; and a prosperous black market. 


12 



215 


• Legalization has no economic justification. Taxing illicit drugs would offset only a small 
fraction of the social costs. 

• Banning illicit drugs is not like alcohol "Prohibition." Drug laws reduce abuse and the 
medical costs associated with abuse. Legalization would do the opposite. 

• Other nations have learned that liberalizing drug policies only leads to more addicts and 
unacceptable social consequences. 

• Illicit drugs offer no offsetting health benefits. Rather, marijuana damages most major body 
systems and provides minimal help for glaucoma victims and only when they are constantly 
stoned. 

• Cocaine is far more addictive than alcohol, and marijuana is at least 10 times more potent 
today than a generation ago. 


Robert Maginnis is a policy analyst with the Family Research Council, a Washington, DC -based 
research and educational organization. 

March 1995 

1. "Views from the Front," PoZ/ce /'/ewi- Spring 1994: 45. 

2. Milton Friedman, 'The Same Mistake," Police News Spring 1994: 48-49. 

3. Christopher Conneil, "Elders Suggests Legalizing Drugs; Critics Go Ballistic’Vw/ieaw Empire 8 December 1993. 

4. Connell, 8 December 1993. 

5. Carolyn Skomeck, "Billionaire Gives $6 Million for Alternative Approach to Drugs" The Associated Press 9 July 
1994. 

6. Connell, 8 December 1993. 

7. Robert LeConte, "A Drug Economy," Po/fce Spring 1994: 40-42. 

8. Wayne J. Roques, Legalization: An Idea Whose Time Will Never Come, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration 
(Miami Field Division: U.S. Department of Justice, 27 December 1994). 

9. Marianne Apostolides, letter. Wall Street Journal 16 February 1995: A15. 

10. Steven B. Duke, interview, Friday at Four, America Online, 2 December 1994. 


13 



216 


1 ! . Roques, 27 December 1994, 

12. Roques. 

13. U.S, Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Legalization: Myths and Misconceptions 
(Seattle: U.S, Department of Justice, 1994)43. 

14. Marijuana Research Review 1 (Portland: Drug Wateh Oregon, October 1994). The original article appears in 
Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 4% {I994j: 715-721. 

15. Marijuana Research Review, February 1994. TTie original article is found m. Schizophrenia Research 11 (1993): 3- 
8 . 

16. Daniel P. Ray, "Marijuana Use Linked to Cancer," The Miami Herald i February 1994. 

17. Marijuana Research Review 1 (Portland: Drug Watch Oregon, July 1994). The original article appears in the 
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 1\ (1983): 389-393. 

18. Marijuana Research Review, July 1994. The original article appears in the Journal of the American Medical 
Association 256 (1986): 3249-3253. 

19. Marijuana Research Review, July 1994. The original article appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence 21 (1988): 
147-152. 

20. Marijuana Research Review, July 1994. This article appears in American Review of Respiratory Diseases 135 
(1987): 1271-1275. 

21. Stuart S. Howards, "Treatment of Male Infertility," The New England Jcmrnal of Medicine 332 (1995): 312-317. 

22. Leslie L. Robison, "Maternal Drug Use and Risk of Childhood Nonlymphoblastic Leukemia Among Offspring," 
Cancer63 (1989): 1904-1911. 

23. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization 43. 

24. Ray, 8 February 1994. 

25. Marijuana Research Review, July 1994. 

26. "National Survey Finds Teen Drug Use Up; 13% of 8th-Graders Have Used Marijuana," 5t. Louis Post-Dispatch 13 
December 1994: A-1. 

27. Drug Policy Action (Washington, D.C.: Drug Policy Foundation, July/August 1994) 18. 

28. Connell, 8 December 1993. 

29. Duke, 2 December 1994. 

30. "Let Pot Smokers Go," The Washington Times 22 February 1995; A-I2. 

3 1 . "Next ABA Boss; Legalize Drugs," USA Today 28 June 1994. 


14 



217 


32. Jill Jonnes, "Forgotten History of Legal Drugs," The Baltimore Sun 16 February 1995. 

33. Peggy Mann, Reasons to Oppose Legalizing Illegal Drugs (Danvers: Committee of Correspondence, Inc., 
September, 1988) 3. 

34. Wayne J. Roques, "Decriminalizing Drugs Would Be A Disaster," The Miami Herald 20 January 1995. 

35. Don Feder, "Legalizers Plan Harvard Pot Party," The Boston Herald 19 May 1994. 

36- Mark S. Gold, The Good News About Drugs and Alcohol (H&w York: Viliard Books, 1991). 

37. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics — 1992, NCJ- 
143496 (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1992) 603-604. 

38. U.S. Department of }\iSi\Q&, Drug Legalization A'i. 

39. John Bradford et al, "Substance Abuse and Criminal Behavior," Clinical Forensic Psychiatry 15 (1992); 605-621. 

40. "MTV Show Favors Drug hGgd.[\ 2 &ticin," Drug Policy Report \ September 1994. 

4 1 . Rachel Ehrenfeld, "Retreating from the War on Drugs," The Washington Times 28 February 1 995 : A-2 1 . 

42. Gold 246. 

43. Ethan Nadelmann, "Dear Abby" letter, The Oregonian 22 June 1994. 

44. Ethan Nadelmann and Jann S. Wermer, ’Toward a Sane National Drug Policy," Rolling Stone 5 May 1994: 24-26. 

45. Mann 3. 

46. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalkation 32. 

47. Substance Abuse: The Nation's Number One Health Problem, Institute for Health Policy, Brandeis University, 
prepared for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, October 1993: 8-16. 

48. Substance Abuse 8-16. 

49. Roques, Legalization 27 December 1994. 

50. The Drug Policy Letter (Washington, D.C.: The Drug Policy Foundation, 22 Spring 1994). 

51. William F, Buckley, Jr., "It's Time to Deal with the L Word," The Miami Heraldic September 1994: A-19. 

52. Nadelmann and Wenner 24-26. 

53. Gold 245. 

54. Gold 245. 

55. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization 39. 


15 



218 


56. Barbara Reynolds, "Give Elders Credit for Daring to Speak Out on Drugs," USA Today 17 December 1993: A- 13. 

57. Nadelmann, 22 June 1994. 

58. The Drug Policy Letter, 22 Spring 1994. 

59. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization. 

60. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization. 

61 . U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization. See also: Legaltationll December 1994. 

62. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization. See also: Roques, Legalization. 

63. K. F. Gunning, "Statistics on the Netherlands," President, Dutch National Committee on Drug Prevention, 
Rotterdam, Holland 22 September 1993. 

64. Newton Miller, Response to Ted KoppeVs 'Legalization of Drugs in the United States.' (River Edge: Kids Centers 
of America, Inc.). 

65. Miller. 

66. Lee P. Brown, "Eight Myths About Drugs," Vital Speeches of the Day, City News Publishing Co. 15 July 1994. 

67. Lee P. Brown, 15 July 1994. See also: U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization. 

68. Lee P. Brown, 15 July 1994. See also: U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization and Bernard D. Kaplan, 
"Legalized Drug Program Collapses in Zvxvdti.” Richmond Times-Dispatch26 Febru^ 1995: F-3. 

69. Roques, Legalization. 

70. Nadelmann and Wenner 24-26. 

7 1 . Nadelmann and Wenner 24-26. 

72. Arnold S. Trebach, "Dear Friend" letter (Washington, D.C.: Drug Policy Foundation, 27 June 1994). 

73. "Clinton Team Will Review Medical Use of Marijuana," The Orlando Sentinel 6 January 1994: A-1. 

74. Andrew Schneider and Mary Pat Flaherty, "Government Seized Home of Man Who Was Going Blind," The 
Pittsburgh Press (1991): 9-10. 

75. Schneider and Flaherty 9-10. 

76. Paul Leavitt and Dennis Cauchon, "Race Not ’An Issue’ in 0. J. Case," USA Today 19 July 1994: A-3. 

77. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization, 54. 

78. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization SI. 


16 



219 


79. Marijuana Research Review, October 1994. The original article appeare m Annals of Pharmacotherapy 28 (1993): 
595-597. 

80. Marijuana Research Review, February 1994. TTie original articles appear in H. Friedman, ed., Drugs of Abuse: 
Immuno and Immunodeficiency (New York: Plenum Press, 1991). The specific studies are: Julie Y. Djeu el al., 
"Adverse Effect of Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol on Human Neutrophil Function" (1991): 57-62 and Bernard Watzl, 
"Influence of Marijuana Components (THC and CBD) on Human Mononuclear Cell Cytokine Secretion In Vino" 
(1991): 63-70, 

81. U.S. Department of insXict., Drug Legalization 5\. 

82. The Drug Policy Letter, 22 Spring 1994. 

83 . Sue Rusche, National Families in Action, (Atlanta: Drug Abuse Update, 30 June 1994). 

84. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization 9. 

85. Apostolides A15. 

86. U.S. Department of ivsTxct, Drug Legalization. 

87. "National Survey Finds Teen Drug Use Up," 5/. Louis Post-Dispatch 13 December 1994: A-1. 

88. Jonnes, 16 February 1995. 

89. Jonnes. 

90. Jonnes. 

9 1 . U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization. 

92. Mann 3. 

93. Max Frankel, "Word & Image; Drug War, II," The New York r//nes 29 January 1995: Sec. 6, 22. 

94. Dennis Cauchon, "High Times Return," USA Today 19 March 1993: D-2. 

95. Cynthia Cotts, "Smart Movity," Rolling Stone $ May 1994: 42-43. 

96. Wayne J. Roques, personal interview, 20 February 1995. 

97. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Legalization 57. 

98. U.S, Department of Justice, Drug Legalization 57. 


17 



220 


Mr. Mica. Now very patiently waiting is Mr. David Boaz, execu- 
tive vice president of Cato. 

Thank you for being our last panelist. You are recognized, sir. 

Mr. Boaz. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the sub- 
committee, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today on 
the successes and failures of our current policy and possible alter- 
natives. 

I, too, have a complete statement that I would like to submit for 
the record. 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, so ordered. 

Mr. Boaz. Ours is a Federal republic. The Federal Government 
has only the powers granted to it by the Constitution. The United 
States has a tradition of individual liberty, vigorous civil society 
and limited government. J ust because a problem is identified does 
not mean that the government ought to undertake to solve it, and 
just because a problem is found in more than one State does not 
mean that it is a proper subject for Federal policy. 

Perhaps no area more clearly demonstrates the bad consequences 
of not following such a policy than our experience with drug prohi- 
bition. The long Federal experiment with prohibition of marijuana, 
cocaine, heroin and other drugs has given us unprecedented crime, 
corruption and incarceration, combined with a manifest failure to 
stop the use of drugs or to reduce their availability to children. 

In the 1920's, Congress experimented with the prohibition of al- 
cohol. In 1933, Congress recognized that prohibition had failed to 
stop drinking and had increased prison populations and violent 
crime. By the end of 1933, national prohibition was history, al- 
though in accordance with our Federal system, many States contin- 
ued to outlaw or severely restrict the sale of liquor. 

Today, Congress must confront a similarly failed prohibition pol- 
icy. Futile attempts to enforce prohibition have been pursued even 
more vigorously in the 1980's and the 1990's than they were in the 
1920's. The Federal Government spent $16 billion on drug control 
in 1998 and has approved a budget of $17.9 billion for 1999. State 
and local governments spend another $15 billion or more every 
year. 

These mind-boggling amounts have had some effect, as you have 
heard earlier today. Total drug arrests are now more than 1.5 mil- 
lion a year. Over 80 percent of the increase in the Federal prison 
population has been due to drug convictions. Drug offenders now 
constitute 60 percent of all Federal prisoners. 

Yet, as was the case during prohibition, all the arrests and incar- 
cerations have not stopped the use and abuse of drugs, or the drug 
trade, or the crime associated with black market transactions. Co- 
caine and heroin supplies are up. The more our Customs agents 
interdict, the more smugglers import. And, of course, while crime 
rates have fallen in the past few years, today's crime rates look 
good only by the standards of the recent past. They remain much 
higher than the levels of the 1950's. 

As for discouraging young people from using drugs, a theme that 
has come up many times today, the massive Federal effort has 
been largely a dud. Despite these soaring expenditures, about half 
the students in the United States in 1995 tried an illegal drug be- 
fore they graduated from high school. Every year for the past 20 



221 


years, at least 82 percent of high school seniors have said they 
found marijuana fairly easy or very easy to obtain. During that 
same period, according to Federal statistics of dubious reliability, 
teenage marijuana use fell dramatically and then rose significantly, 
suggesting that cultural factors have more effect than the legal war 
on drugs. 

I would remind you that all of the terrible and heart-rending sto- 
ries that we have heard today in this room have happened under 
a policy of prohibition, under a policy of 1.5 million arrests a year. 
I would suggest that is not a sign of success. 

The manifest failure of drug prohibition explains why more and 
more people— from Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke to William F. 
Buckley, j r., to former Secretary of State George Shultz— have ar- 
gued that drug prohibition actually causes more crime and other 
inarms than it prevents. 

We care a lot about family values these days. We have heard a 
lot about families today. But the drug laws often break up families. 
Too many parents have been separated from their children because 
they were convicted of marijuana possession or some other non- 
violent offense. 

Will Foster used marijuana to control the pain and swelling asso- 
ciated with his crippling rheumatoid arthritis. Fie was arrested, 
convicted of marijuana cultivation and sentenced to 93 years in 
prison, later generously reduced to 20 years in prison. Are his three 
children better off with a father who uses marijuana medicinally 
or a father in jail for 20 years? 

And going to jail for drug offenses isn't just for men anymore. 
More than two-thirds of the 150,000 women behind bars have chil- 
dren. 

One of them is Brenda Pearson, a heroin addict who managed to 
maintain a job at a securities firm in New York. She supplied her- 
oin to another addict, and a Michigan prosecutor had her extra- 
dited, prosecuted and sentenced to 50 to 200 years. We can only 
hope that her elderly children will remember her when she gets 
out. 

Drug prohibition leads to civil liberties abuses. People who com- 
pare the success of the military to the success we might have in 
a free society suggest that a military model is appropriate for a free 
society. I n trying to win this unwinnable war, we have already suf- 
fered under wiretapping, entrapment, property seizures and other 
abuses of Americans' traditional liberties. As we deliberate the 
costs and benefits of drug policy, we should keep those problems in 
mind. 

Students of American history will someday ponder the question 
of how today's elected officials could readily admit to the mistaken 
policy of alcohol prohibition in the 1920's but continue the policy 
of prohibition of other drugs. 

Intellectual history teaches us that people have a strong incen- 
tive to maintain their faith in old paradigms even as the facts be- 
come increasingly difficult to explain within that paradigm. But 
when a paradigm has manifestly failed, we need to think creatively 
and develop a new paradigm. 

The paradigm of prohibition has failed. I urge Members of Con- 
gress and all Americans to have the courage to let go of the old 



222 


paradigm, to think outside the box, and to develop a new model for 
dealing with the very real risks of drug and alcohol abuse. I believe 
that if this committee and the 106th Congress will subject the Fed- 
eral drug laws to that kind of new thinking, it will recognize that 
the drug war is not the answer to the very real problems associated 
with drug use. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you for your testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Boaz follows:] 



223 


Testimony of 
David Boaz 

Executive Vice President 
Cato Institute 

before the 

Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, 

Drug Policy, and Human Resources 
Committee on Government Reform 
U.S. House of Representatives 

June 16, 1999 

Drug Legalization, Criminalization, and Harm Reduction 

Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the subcommittee; 

Thank you for inviting me to testify before you on the 
successes and failures of our current policy of drug prohibition, 
and on possible alternatives. 

Ours is a federal republic. The federal government has only 
the powers granted to it in the Constitution. And the United 
States has a tradition of individual liberty, vigorous civil 
society, and limited government: just because a problem is 
identified does not mean that the government ought to undertake 
to solve it, and just because a problem occurs in more than one 
state does not mean that it is a proper subject for federal 
policy. 

Perhaps no area more clearly demonstrates the bad 
consequences of not following such rules than drug prohibition. 
The long federal experiment in prohibition of marijuana, cocaine, 
heroin, and other drugs has given us unprecedented crime and 
corruption combined with a manifest failure to stop the use of 
drugs or reduce their availability to children. 

In the 1920s Congress experimented with the prohibition of 



224 


alcohol. On February 20, 1933, a new Congress acknowledged the 
failure of alcohol Prohibition and sent the Twenty-First 
Amendment to the states. Congress recognized that Prohibition 
had failed to stop drinking and had increased prison populations 
and violent crime. By the end of 1933, national Prohibition was 
history, though in accordance with our federal system many states 
continued to outlaw or severely restrict the sale of liquor. 

Today Congress confronts a similarly failed prohibition 
policy. Futile efforts to enforce prohibition have been pursued 
even more vigorously in the 1980s and 1990s than they were in the 
1920s. Total federal expenditures for the first 10 years of 
Prohibition amounted to $88 million — about $733 million in 1993 
dollars. Drug enforcement cost about $22 billion in the Reagan 
years and another $45 billion in the four years of the Bush 
administration. The federal government spent $16 billion on drug 
control programs in FY 1998 and has approved a budget of $17.9 
billion for FY 1999. (See Figure 1.) The Office of National 
Drug Control Policy reported in April 1999 that state and local 
governments spent an additional $15.9 billion in FY 1991, an 
increase of 13 percent over 1990, and there is every reason to 
believe that state and local expenditures have risen throughout 
the 1990s. 

Those mind-boggling amounts have had some effect. Total 
drug arrests are now more than 1.5 million a year. There are 
about 400,000 drug offenders in jails and prison now, and over 80 
percent of the increase in the federal prison population from 
1985 to 1995 was due to drug convictions. Drug offenders 



225 


constituted 59.6 percent of all federal prisoners in 1996, up 
from 52.6 percent in 1990. (See figure 2.) (Those in federal 
prison for violent offenses fell from 18 percent to 12,4 percent 
of the total, while property offenders fell from 14 percent to 
8.4 percent.) 

Yet as was the case during Prohibition, all the arrests and 
incarcerations haven't stopped the use and abuse of drugs, or the 
drug trade, or the crime associated with black-market 
transactions. Cocaine and heroin supplies are up; the more our 
Customs agents interdict, the more smugglers import. In a letter 
to the Wall Street Journal published on November 12, 1996, Janet 
Crist of the White House Office of National Drug Policy claimed 
some success: 

Other important results [of the Pentagon's anti- 
drug efforts] include the arrest of virtually the 
entire Cali drug cartel leadership, the disruption of 
the Andean air bridge, and the hemispheric drug 
interdiction effort that has captured about a third of 
the cocaine produced in South America each year. 

"However," she continued, "there has been no direct effect on 
either the price or the availability of cocaine on our streets." 
That is hardly a sign of a successful policy. And of course, 
while crime rates have fallen in the past few years, today's 
crime rates look good only by the standards of the recent past; 
they remain much higher than the levels of the 1950s. 

As for discouraging young people from using drugs, the 
massive federal effort has largely been a dud. Despite the 
soaring expenditures on antidrug efforts, about half the students 
in the United States in 1995 tried an illegal drug before they 



226 






227 


graduated from high school. According to the 1997 National 
Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 54.1 percent of high school 
seniors reported some use of an illegal drug at least once during 
their lifetime, although it should be noted that only 6.4 percent 
reported use in the month before the survey was conducted. Every 
year from 1975 to 1995, at least 82 percent of high school 
seniors have said they find marijuana "fairly easy" or "very 
easy" to obtain. During that same period, according to federal 
statistics of dubious reliability, teenage marijuana use fell 
dramatically and then rose significantly, suggesting that 
cultural factors have more effect than "the war on drugs." 

The manifest failure of drug prohibition explains why more 
and more people — from Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke to Nobel 
laureate Milton Friedman, conservative columnist William F. 
Buckley Jr. , and former secretary of state George Shultz — have 
argued that drug prohibition actually causes more crime and other 
harms than it prevents. 

The Failures of Prohibition 

Congress should recognize the failure of prohibition and end 
the federal government's war on drugs. First and foremost, the 
federal drug laws are constitutionally dubious. As previously 
noted, the federal government can only exercise the powers that 
have been delegated to it. The Tenth Amendment reserves all 
other powers to the states or to the people. However misguided 
the alcohol prohibitionists turned out to be, they deserve credit 
for honoring our constitutional system by seeking a 



228 


constitutional amendment that would explicitly authorize a 
national policy on the sale of alcohol. Congress never asked the 
American people for additional constitutional powers to declare a 
war on drug consumers. 

Second, drug prohibition creates high levels of crime. 
Addicts are forced to commit crimes to pay for a habit that would 
be easily affordable if it were legal. Police sources have 
estimated that as much as half the property crime in some major 
cities is committed by drug users. More dramatically, because 
drugs are illegal, participants in the drug trade cannot go to 
court to settle disputes, whether between buyer and seller or 
between rival sellers. When black-market contracts are breached, 
the result is often some form of violent sanction, which usually 
leads to retaliation and then open warfare in the streets. 

Our capital city, Washington, D.C., has become known as the 
"murder capital" even though it is the most heavily policed city 
in the United States. Make no mistake about it, the annual 
carnage that stands behind America's still outrageously high 
murder rates has nothing to do with the mind-altering effects of 
a marijuana cigarette or a crack pipe. It is instead one 
of the grim and bitter consequences of an ideological crusade 
whose proponents will not yet admit defeat. 

Third, drug prohibition channels over $40 billion a year 
into the criminal underworld. Alcohol prohibition drove 
reputable companies into other industries or out of business 
altogether, which paved the way for mobsters to make millions 
through the black market. If drugs were legal, organized crime 



229 


would stand to lose billions of dollars, and drugs would be sold 
by legitimate businesses in an open marketplace. 

Fourth, drug prohibition is a classic example of throwing 
money at a problem. The federal government spends some $16 
billion to enforce the drug laws every year — all to no avail. For 
years drug war bureaucrats have been tailoring their budget 
requests to the latest news reports. When drug use goes up, 
taxpayers are told the government needs more money so that it can 
redouble its efforts against a rising drug scourge. When drug 
use goes down, taxpayers are told that it would be a big mistake 
to curtail spending just when progress is being made. Good news 
or bad, spending levels must be maintained or increased. 

Fifth, the drug laws are responsible for widespread social 
upheaval. "Law and order" advocates too often fail to recognize 
that some laws can actually cause societal disorder. A simple 
example will illustrate that phenomenon. Right now our college 
campuses are relatively calm and peaceful, but imagine what would 
happen if Congress were to institute military conscription in 
order to wage a war in Kosovo, Korea, or the Middle East. 

Campuses across the country would likely erupt in protest — even 
though Congress obviously did not desire that result. The drug 
laws happen to have different "disordering" effects. Perhaps the 
most obvious has been turning our cities into battlefields and 
upending the normal social order. 

Drug prohibition has created a criminal subculture in our 
inner cities. The immense profits involved in a black -market 
business make drug dealing the most lucrative endeavor for many 



230 


people, especially those who care least about getting on the 
wrong side of the law. 

Drug dealers become the most visibly successful people in 
inner-city communities, the ones with money, and clothes, and 
cars . Social order is turned upside down when the most 
successful people in a community are criminals. The drug war 
makes peace and prosperity virtually impossible in inner cities. 

Sixth, the drug laws break up families. Too many parents 
have been separated from their children because they were 
convicted of marijuana possession, small-scale sale of drugs, or 
some other non-violent offense. Will Foster used marijuana to 
control the pain and swelling associated with his crippling 
rheumatoid arthritis. He was arrested, convicted of marijuana 
cultivation, and sentenced to 93 years in prison, later reduced 
to 20 years. Are his three children better off with a father who 
uses marijuana medicinally, or a father in jail for 20 years? 

And going to jail for drug offenses isn't just for men any 
more. In 1996, 188,880 women were arrested for violating drug 
laws. Most of them did not go to jail, of course, but more than 
two-thirds of the 146,000 women behind bars have children. One 
of them is Brenda Pearson, a heroin addict who managed to 
maintain a job at a securities firm in New York. She supplied 
heroin to an addict friend, and a Michigan prosecutor had her 
extradited, prosecuted, and sentenced to 50 to 200 years. We can 
only hope that her two children will remember her when she gets 
out. 

Seventh, drug prohibition leads to civil liberties abuses. 



231 


The demand to win this unwinnable war has led to wiretapping, 
entrapment, property seizures, and other abuses of Americans' 
traditional liberties. The saddest cases result in the deaths of 
innocent people: people like Donald Scott, whose home was raided 
at dawn on the pretext of cultivating marijuana, and who was shot 
and killed when he rushed into the living room carrying a gun; or 
people like the Rev. Accelyne Williams, a 75-year-old minister 
who died of a heart attack when police burst into his Boston 
apartment looking for drugs — the wrong apartment, as it turned 
out; or people like Esequlel Hernandez, who was out tending his 
family's goats near the Rio Grande just six days after his 18th 
birthday when he was shot by a Marine patrol looking for drug 
smugglers. As we deliberate the costs and benefits of drug 
policy, we should keep those people in mind. 

Students of American history will someday ponder the 
question of how today's elected officials could readily admit to 
the mistaken policy of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s but 
continue the policy of drug prohibition. Indeed, the only 
historical lesson that recent presidents and Congresses seem to 
have drawn from the period of alcohol prohibition is that 
government should not try to outlaw the sale of alcohol. One of 
the broader lessons that they should have learned is this: 
prohibition laws should be judged according to their real-world 
effects, not their promised benefits. 

Intellectual history teaches us that people have a strong 
incentive to maintain their faith in old paradigms even as the 
facts become increasingly difficult to explain within that 



232 


paradigm. But when a paradigm has manifestly failed, we need to 
think creatively and develop a new paradigm. The paradigm of 
prohibition has failed. I urge members of Congress and all 
Americans to have the courage to let go of the old paradigm, to 
think outside the box, and to develop a new model for dealing 
with the very real risks of drug and alcohol abuse. If the 106th 
Congress will subject the federal drug laws to that kind of new 
thinking, it will recognize that the drug war is not the answer 
to problems associated with drug use. 

Respect State Initiatives 

In addition to the general critique above, I would like to 
touch on a few more specific issues. A particularly tragic 
consequence of the stepped-up war on drugs is the refusal to 
allow sick people to use marijuana as medicine. Prohibitionists 
insist that marijuana is not good medicine, or at least that 
there are legal alternatives to marijuana that are equally good. 
Those who believe that individuals should make their own 
decisions, not have their decisions made for them by Washington 
bureaucracies, would simply say that that's a decision for 
patients and their doctors to make. But in fact there is good 
medical evidence about the therapeutic value of marijuana — 
despite the difficulty of doing adequate research on an illegal 
drug. A recent National Institutes of Health panel concluded 
that smoking marijuana may help treat a number of conditions, 
including nausea and pain. It can be particularly effective in 
improving the appetite of AIDS and cancer patients. The drug 



233 


could also assist people who fail to respond to traditional 
remedies . 

More than 70 percent of O.S. cancer specialists in one 
survey said they would prescribe marijuana if it was legal; 
nearly half said they had urged their patients to break the law 
to acquire the drug. The British Medical Association reports that 
nearly 70 percent of its members believe marijuana should be 
available for therapeutic use. Even President George Bush's 
office of Drug Control Policy criticized the Department of Health 
and Human Services for closing its special medical marijuana 
program. 

Whatever the actual value of medical marijuana, the relevant 
fact for federal policymakers is that in 1996 the voters of 
California and Arizona authorized physicians licensed in the 
state to recommend the use of medical marijuana to seriously ill 
and terminally ill patients residing in the state without being 
subject to civil and criminal penalties. 

In response to those referenda, however, the Clinton 
administration announced, without any intervening authorization 
from Congress, that any physician recommending or prescribing 
medicinal marihuana under state law would be prosecuted. In the 
February 11, 1997, Federal Register the Office of National Drug 
Control Policy announced that federal policy would be as follows: 
(1) physicians who recommend and prescribe medicinal marijuana to 
patients in conformity with state law and patients who use such 
marijuana will be prosecuted; (2) physicians who recommend and 
prescribe medicinal marijuana to patients in conformity with 



234 


state law will be excluded from Medicare and Medicaid; and (3) 
physicians who recommend and prescribe medicinal marijuana to 
patients in conformity with state law will have their scheduled- 
drug DEA registrations revoked. 

The announced federal policy also encourages state and local 
enforcement officials to arrest and prosecute physicians 
suspected of prescribing or recommending medicinal marijuana and 
to arrest and prosecute patients who use such marijuana. And 
adding insult to injury, the policy also encourages the IRS to 
issue a revenue ruling disallowing any medical deduction for 
medical marijuana lawfully obtained under state law. 

Clearly, this is a blatant effort by the federal government 
to impose a national policy on the people in the states in 
question, people who have already elected a contrary policy. 
Federal officials do not agree with the policy the people have 
elected; they mean to override it, local rule notwithstanding — 
just as the Clinton administration has tried to do in other 
cases, such as the California initiatives dealing with racial 
preferences and state benefits for immigrants. 

Congress and the administration should respect the decisions 
of the voters in Arizona and California; and in Alaska, Nevada, 
Oregon, and Washington, where voters passed medical marijuana 
initiatives in 1998; and in other states where such initiatives 
may be proposed, debated, and passed. One of the benefits of a 
federal republic is that different policies may be tried in 
different states. One of the benefits of our Constitution is 
that it limits the power of the federal government to impose one 



235 


policy on the several states. 

Repeal Mandatory Hinimums 

The common law in England and America has always relied on 
judges and juries to decide cases and set punishments. Under our 
modern system, of course, many crimes are defined by the 
legislature, and appropriate penalties are defined by statute. 
However, mandatory minimum sentences and rigid sentencing 
guidelines shift too much power to legislators and regulators who 
are not involved in particular cases. They turn judges into 
clerks and prevent judges from weighing all the facts and 
circumstances in setting appropriate sentences. In addition, 
mandatory minimums for nonviolent first -time drug offenders 
result in sentences grotesguely disproportionate to the gravity 
of the offense. Absurdly, Congress has mandated minimums for 
drug offenses but not for murder and other violent crimes, so 
that a judge has more discretion in sentencing a murder than a 
first-time drug offender. 

Rather than extend mandatory minimum sentences to further 
crimes, Congress should repeal mandatory minimums and let judges 
perform their traditional function of weighing the facts and 
setting appropriate sentences. 

Conclusion 

Drug abuse is a problem, for those involved in it and for 
their family and friends. But it is better dealt with as a moral 
and medical than as a criminal problem — "a problem for the 



236 


surgeon general , not the attorney general , " as Mayor Schmoke puts 
it. 

The United States is a federal republic, and Congress should 
deal with drug prohibition the way it dealt with alcohol 
Prohibition. The Twenty-First Amendment did not actually 
legalize the sale of alcohol; it simply repealed the federal 
prohibition and returned to the several states the authority to 
set alcohol policy. States took the opportunity to design 
diverse liquor policies that were in tune with the preferences of 
their citizens. After 1933, three states and hundreds of 
counties continued to practice prohibition. Other states chose 
various forms of alcohol legalization. 

Congress should withdraw from the war on drugs and let the 
states set their own policies with regard to currently illegal 
drugs. The states would be well advised to treat marijuana, 
cocaine, and heroin the way most states now treat alcohol: It 
should be legal for licensed stores to sell such drugs to adults. 
Drug sales to children, like alcohol sales to children, should 
remain illegal. Driving under the influence of drugs should be 
illegal. 

with such a policy. Congress would acknowledge that our 
current drug policies have failed. It would restore authority to 
the states, as the Founders envisioned. It would save taxpayers' 
money. And it would give the states the power to experiment with 
drug policies and perhaps devise more successful rules. 

Repeal of prohibition would take the astronomical profits 
out of the drug business and destroy the drug kingpins that 



237 


terrorize parts of our cities. It would reduce crime even more 
dramatically than did the repeal of alcohol prohibition. Not 
only would there be less crime; reform would also free police to 
concentrate on robbery, burglary, and violent crime. 

The War on Drugs has lasted longer than Prohibition, longer 
than the War in Vietnam. But there is no light at the end of 
this tunnel. Prohibition has failed, again, and should be 
repealed, again. 



238 


Mr. Mica. I would like to recognize first for the purpose of ques- 
tions Mr. Barr, the gentleman from Georgia. 

Mr. Barr. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Glasser, I just have a couple of quick questions for you. 

I would like to say that I really appreciate the work of the ACLU 
in a lot of different areas— privacy rights, asset forfeiture— and I 
know, Mr. Ehlers, you mentioned that earlier. I appreciate your 
reference to that. It isn't that we disagree on every issue. There are 
a lot of issues that we do agree on and that we work for, and I ap- 
preciate very much the work that the ACLU does in those and 
many other areas as well. 

We do have, I think, a fundamental policy difference on drugs. 
There were a couple of terms that you used— I note you were very 
careful about defining certain terms, but a couple of terms you 
used, Mr. Glasser, I wanted to ask your definition of. What is drug 
abuse as opposed to drug use? 

Mr. Glasser. Think of the difference between an alcoholic who 
is always in a stupor and gets up in the morning and drinks a 
quart of vodka every day and those of us who go home at night and 
share a bottle of wine at dinner or have a scotch or two, even if 
we do it every night, and go in to work and lead productive and 
stable lives. That is the difference between use and abuse. 

Mr. Barr. So it would be the difference between 

Mr. Glasser. Compulsive dysfunctional use, a heavy use of a 
substance as opposed to occasional, moderate, responsible use. 

Mr. Barr. In terms of alcohol usage, we draw such a distinction, 
for example, in not making it necessarily illegal in every instance 
to convict somebody for driving after they have had a drink of alco- 
hol. However, we try, and I think we have succeeded in large part 
over the years, in developing a somewhat sound scientific basis for 
measuring whether or not somebody's faculties and facilities to 
react and act to stimuli around them, for example, in driving a car, 
where to react improperly poses a danger to them and more impor- 
tantly to other people, and we draw a distinction. We say it is not 
illegal unless it can be shown reasonably. We do draw some lines. 

Mr. Glasser. And it is not illegal if they are not in a car. It is 
not illegal if they are home. 

Mr. Barr. I am just using the example of driving a car, where 
you inherently would pose a danger to other people. 

Is it your view, then, that mind-altering drugs can be used in 
certain amounts without significantly impairing a person's ability 
to act and react to the world around them in a safe manner? 

Mr. Glasser. First of all, I would apply exactly the same stand- 
ard to marijuana or any other drug that we apply to alcohol in 
terms of driving a car. If you are impaired for any reason while you 
are driving a car, you should not be driving a car and you should 
be subject to sanctions for doing it. 

But that is a different question than whether or not you are im- 
paired at home with two friends while you are sitting around and 
having a little party on a Saturday night. There you can get drunk, 
can't you? And as long as you don't go out and drive a car and put 
someone else in danger, the government has no authority to inter- 
vene in your life with its police power and put you in jail. 



239 


That is the same standard that I am talking about. When we 
come across the person who cannot control the use of alcohol and 
whose life is in a shambles, we still do not consider it a criminal 
problem. We don't exactly always know how to solve it, and the 
tale of Darryl Strawberry and millions of other people whose 
names are not as well known teaches us that this is not an easy 
problem to solve, but we know that, with respect to alcohol, we 
don't do it with prison, and we don't do it with cops. That is what 
I am saying. 

Mr. Barr. Thank you. 

One other term that you used was a productive user. I am not 
quite sure what you mean. 

Mr. Glasser. I mean a person who is productive. I mean 
that 

Mr. Barr. Who is productive yet also uses drugs? Not that using 
drugs makes you productive. 

Mr. Glasser. I mean the CEO of a major company who is on the 
cover of Fortune magazine and the only reason he may not be ad- 
mitting that he smokes marijuana the way you and I drink red 
wine is because it is stupid to admit to a crime. 

Mr. Barr. You are not outing somebody, are you? You are not 
outing a CEO? 

Mr. Glasser. That is why I haven't used any names. 

But that is what I mean by productive. I mean, when you have 
70 million people who have admitted to using marijuana, you al- 
most can conclude inevitably that most of those people are people 
you would like your kids to grow up to be like and that they are 
using marijuana in no way different than you use wine. 

Mr. Barr. We probably disagree on that as well. 

Mr. Glasser. But then we have to find out why we disagree. 

Mr. Barr. But you are, I am sure, being a very learned and very, 
very well read gentleman, you are aware of the studies that have 
been done over the years, not just recently but going back many 
years, about the cost to the productivity of individuals, corporations 
and companies, large and small, with regard to drug usage? 

Mr. Glasser. Actually, Mr. Barr, I think those studies are less 
conclusive with respect to the conclusion you draw than you think. 
The ACLU is about to put out a study on the utility of urine test- 
ing in employment settings and the relationship of drug use off the 
job to productivity, to absences. You would be surprised. 

Mr. Barr. I will agree with you to the extent that some of the 
figures that I see from some of these studies, they are sort of like 
this Y2K issue, we had some witnesses come in on that and they 
said it would cost a trillion dollars. 

To some extent, I don't want to argue over the exact magnitude 
of it, but in talking even anecdotally with employers of small busi- 
nesses, for example, they are very forthcoming in indicating the 
dropoff in productivity, the danger posed to other people when peo- 
ple try and use machinery and so forth. So there are costs. 

Mr. Glasser. How do they know this? 

Mr. Barr. I suspect that any good employer can tell if an em- 
ployee is dozing off on the job because of drug usage. Sometimes 
you can smell it. Sometimes it is because of drug tests. 



240 


Mr. Glasser. What about if they use marijuana on a Saturday 
night and then it was Wednesday? What then? 

Mr. Barr. I suppose if one could establish that you can abso- 
lutely discretely say, OK, drug usage on day 1 will have no effect 
whatsoever on day 2, 3, 4, 50, 100 or 125, your position might have 
some merit. 

Mr. Glasser. And so isn't that worth finding out? 

Mr. Barr. I think to a large extent we probably have found out 
an awful lot. Maybe not so conclusively that every scientist and 
every doctor is willing to say with definitiveness, yes, this is ex- 
actly how it is. We have some studies up here that some scientists 
and doctors agree on. Others say there is certainly room for more 
study. 

But, from a practical standpoint, I think a lot of employers would 
take exception to saying that people that use marijuana and then 
come into the job are productive individuals. There are some costs. 

Mr. McDonough, with regard to the comparison as many draw, 
or the distinction, as many draw between alcohol usage up to the 
point where it does not demonstrably, measurably, significantly 
interfere with a person's ability to react and act to stimuli around 
them, do you think that alcohol usage is the same as the usage of 
mind-altering drugs? I n other words, those on the Federal Sch^ule 
of Controlled Substances? 

Mr. McDonough. Well, I think not. I would like to just take a 
few minutes to say why I think that. 

I have heard some figures bandied about rather freely. I would 
like to just recap them. The fact that 70 some million people in 
America used to use drugs is true. I think it is good that drugs are 
illegal because over 60 million of them have stopped using drugs, 
which I think is a very good outcome. The casual use of drugs as 
a benign event, nonthreatening, I will tell you, sir, with 120,000 
dead in the decade of the 1990's alone, I don't think so. I actually 
do think there is a debilitation with a significant portion of drug 
users that leads, in fact, to death and a lot of room before death, 
not just to the people that suffer from it but their families as well, 
as well as our neighborhoods. 

In this regard, of the casual, do it in your home, it is not a prob- 
lem, I would ask that we take a look at the children who end up 
in foster homes. The statistics that I have reviewed several times 
show me that some 60 to 70 percent of the children in the United 
States in foster homes are there because within the nuclear family 
you had the instance of substance abuse. So the idea that it is a 
harmless, benign pastime, I just can't agree with. 

That gets us into the analogy of Prohibition, which has been 
mentioned at this table three times. I have heard it often. It would 
have you think that Al Capone was the product of Prohibition. 
With that came Tommy guns and with that came murder rates. 

I will tell you that in the United States I have looked at the sta- 
tistics and would like to submit them for the record. Between 1900 
and 1915 the murder rate in the United States per 100,000 went 
up 800 percent. It is true that during the period of Prohibition, 
there was a marginal increase in the murder rate, another 12 per- 
cent above that 800 percent. But I would tell you today that the 
murder rate is below what it was both before Prohibition and after 



241 


Prohibition. So to draw the analogy that Prohibition causes Tommy 
guns and Al Capone and murder and we see that repeated with 
drugs just doesn't seem to wash. 

In regard to prisons, I would just like to make this statement. 

I do believe we can do an awful lot in this country with drug courts 
and coerced abstinence, meaning treatment for those in the crimi- 
nal justice system, but I have to say it is an absolute myth that 
we have filled our prisons with the casual smoker of a harmless 
bong. I did take a look at Florida's prison statistics before I came 
here. I would like to submit that for the record. I would tell you 
of the 65,000 plus in prison in late 1997, there were 14 people 
there, that is 14, not 1,400, there for the primary offense of the 
possession of marijuana. In every one of those cases, it was at a 
degree, at a level that made you believe that they, in fact, were 
trafficking in marijuana. 

So I will tell you that without any hesitation, statistically I can 
r^ort that there is no one in the Florida prison with only one con- 
viction of a marijuana possession offense. Of the 14, all of them 
had prior records; and some had other serious crimes along with 
that. 

So when Mr. Maginnis talks about this series of myths, I think 
he is exactly right. Not that we can't do better with our laws in 
getting treatment, prevention and cutting supply, I think we 
should do that, but to surrender, that it is hopeless, that it is an 
abomination to abuse the rights of the individual to continue as we 
are, I think is a far overblown case. Drugs are serious, drugs do 
alter the mind. Dr. Leshner demonstrated that. 

Mr. Barr. Is that why they call them mind-altering drugs? 

Mr. McDonough. That is why they call it that. It is a mess. I 
think making them legal actually makes the mess worse. 

One final thing, I listened to the story about talking to children 
about the use of drugs. When I was at the national level, we would 
survey again and again the 80 percent of our children that don't 
use drugs. 

By the way, that dispels a myth right there. Eighty percent of 
our children between the ages of 12 and 17 don't use drugs. At the 
worst of it, a senior in high school, about 25 percent are current 
drug users. But to come to the point when you ask the 80 percent 
why don't you use drugs, the overwhelming answer is, "My mother 
and my father told me not to." It is as simple as that. 

Mr. Barr. Do you find a corresponding statistic on the other side 
that there is a disturbing correlation between brothers, sisters, par- 
ents that use drugs and that is given as a reason those teenagers 
in the 20 percent give for their use of drugs? 

Mr. McDonough. That is exactly right. I have done that as well. 

I have gone to them and that 20 percent. I put it this way: "Flave 
your parents ever talked to you about using drugs?" The over- 
whelming answer is no. The other thing I ask, which is a very 
touchy one, "is there drug use in your family?" A significant portion 
say yes. What they see is what they do. 

Mr. Barr. That comports with my experience as a U.S. Attorney 
in dealing with this issue and communities in the northern district 
of Georgia. 



242 


Mr. Ehlers, I would like to discuss very briefly the concept of 
harm reduction which seems sort of a domestic version I suppose 
of our Kosovo policy to some extent. Because if you say that, well, 
we are going to let people use drugs so that we reduce the harm, 
there is— and I know that no matter how strong and how well-re- 
searched a medical study or a scientific study there is, some people 
just won't believe it, but there are, in fact, very, very sound sci- 
entific studies, some of which we have already introduced into the 
record today, that indicate that just marijuana, to say nothing of 
the other much more serious drugs, marijuana usage does have di- 
rect, serious negative effects on the human immune system, the 
autoimmune system. It can hasten the onset of AIDS in HIV pa- 
tients. 

We also know from studies that marijuana severely damages var- 
ious human organs over time. We have seen with regard to some 
substances the effect on the brain. Another study was referred to 
earlier with regard to the detrimental effect of prolonged marijuana 
usage on the human reproductive system, particularly in males. We 
know certainly about the effects, well -documented, on the heart 
and the lungs of marijuana usage. 

Dozens of studies show also that there is a psychiatric component 
to both drug usage as well as withdrawal from drug usage. With- 
drawal from marijuana, for example, can create— does create a pro- 
pensity toward violent or aggressive behavior. 

If, in fact, one says that, well, we look at drugs as harm reduc- 
tion; we let people use drugs because to not do drugs would some- 
how create more harm; in light of these studies, particularly those 
that show that marijuana does damage to the immune systems of 
HIV and Al DS patients at a rate at least twice as fast as those who 
do not use marijuana, how can you really advocate the use of mari- 
juana for HIV and AIDS patients and say that this is harm reduc- 
tion if in fact it demonstrably and by scientific evidence hastens 
the onset of Al DS and hastens death in these patients? 

Mr. Ehlers. I haven't seen that research that you are talking 
about. All I do know is I have met HIV and AIDS patients who get 
relief from using medical marijuana. They are all over the place, 
whether it be in California or here in DC. The HIV/AIDS commu- 
nity has been some of the biggest advocates on behalf of medical 
marijuana. It helps their wasting syndrome. 

If you are taking lots of pills in order to try to combat your ill- 
ness, then you ne^ something to help keep those pills down. You 
need something to help you eat. And so time and again, we have 
seen AIDS patients who have used medical marijuana to stimulate 
appetite and to end their nausea and that helps them live. 

Mr. Barr. But if you, in fact, read these studies and were, in 
fact, convinced that there is some merit to it that shows that, aside 
from those other results of marijuana usage, we will leave that 
aside for the moment, if it could be shown, as I believe it has been, 
that the use of marijuana does have very serious detrimental, long- 
term— insofar as you can speak of long term in somebody with ter- 
minal Al DS— results, would you still maintain that it is a benefit 
to give them marijuana even though it may hasten the onset of 
their death? 



243 


Mr. Ehlers. You would have to weigh the evidence against using 
marijuana as a means to increase weight, to end nausea. You 
would have to weigh that evidence against any potential increase 
i n the spread of the H I V vi rus. 

Like I said, I haven't seen that evidence. The HIV patients who 
use medical marijuana right now say it really benefits them, so I 
have to take their word for it. 

Mr. Barr. With regard to the increased propensity for violence 
by marijuana users and other drug users, both during the use of 
the drugs and, as has been shown in studies, in withdrawal, would 
this also be something that, if you saw these studies and they 
seemed to be scientifically based, would cause you to rethink in any 
way your advocacy of marijuana in terms of so-called harm reduc- 
tion? 

Mr. Ehlers. If I saw that evidence. But I noted when you said 
that, I have some quotes from the Institute of Medicine report. 
What they have to say is, "a distinctive marijuana THC withdrawal 
syndrome has been identified, but it is mild and subtle compared 
to the profound physical syndrome of alcohol or heroin withdrawal. 
Compared to most other drugs, dependence among marijuana users 
is relatively rare." 

So the Institute of Medicine didn't find it. I don't know where 
that evidence would come from. 

Mr. Barr. In that case, drawing the analogy, should alcoholics be 
given free alcohol? Would that be considered harm reduction? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. Because alcoholics, they can't function properly 
on the use of alcohol. 

Mr. Barr. Heavy marijuana users can? 

Mr. Ehlers. That is not what I am advocating. 

Mr. Barr. So you are not advocating marijuana usage? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. 

Mr. Barr. Are you opposed to marijuana usage? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. 

Mr. Barr. Is there some middle ground there that I am missing? 

Mr. Ehlers. Yes, there is. I don't think marijuana smokers 
should be imprisoned. That is what it comes down to. I don't think 
they should use, but I don't think they should be imprisoned, ei- 
ther. 

Mr. Barr. So your basis is really not so much a harm reduction 
or medical but more, as Mr. Glasser's is, more of a legal— or Mr. 
Boaz's is basically a legal one. These are not the sort of things the 
government should be regulating? 

Mr. Ehlers. Ultimately, I don't think the government should be 
involved in arresting nonviolent marijuana users if they are adults. 

Mr. Barr. With regard to, I noticed in your testimony on page 
3 

Mr. Ehlers. The full testimony? 

Mr. Barr. Yes, your paper here. On page 3, you say, other main- 
tenance therapies should be explored, including the use of— I can't 
pronounce that, but it does go on, I can pronounce heroin mainte- 
nance-based on the successful programs in England and Switzer- 
land. 

How do you define successful programs in England and Switzer- 
land? How do you gauge? How do you determine their success? 



244 


Because, like Dr. Maginnis, I have been over there. Granted, my 
perspective in going over there was probably different from yours, 
but I have seen, at least to some extent, the methadone clinics over 
there. I have gone to the shooting galleries they have in Switzer- 
land. I have seen mothers go into these, leave their babies out on 
the streets for hours on end, with nobody watching them because 
it is more important for them to go in and shoot up at a shooting 
gallery at government expense than it is to pay attention to what 
is happening with their children. 

I don't measure that— I don't say, hey, that's a successful pro- 
gram. We ought to emulate it. How do you measure the success of 
the programs in England and Switzerland on heroin maintenance? 

Mr. Ehlers. I measure success by the reduction of crime in Swit- 
zerland. They found a 60 percent reduction in crime among people 
who were in the program. 

There is also an increase 

Mr. Barr. Heroin use would be a form of crime prevention? 

Mr. Ehlers. It wasn't about crime as far as the crime of possess- 
ing heroin. It was the crime of going out to steal in order to support 
a habit. So, yes, it is used as a crime prevention program, as is 
methadone maintenance in a way. It also increased employment, 
decreased homelessness, stabilize people's lives, brought people 
into treatment. A lot of people weren't interested in heroin mainte- 
nance after they tried it. They wanted to go into treatment. 

Mr. Barr. That is not my experience when I was over there just 
a couple of years ago talking with some of the doctors at the gov- 
ernment-run clinics. They said, for example, that they would find 
that once people got into the program and were able to come by 
several times a day and get their drugs from the government, they 
would lose their interest in maintaining a job; they would lose their 
interest in their family; and the most important thing every day 
was getting by the clinic at a certain time so they could get shot 
up. 

Here again, I am not quite sure whether that is a success or 
whether you would measure success simply because that person is 
no longer committing crimes. He or she doesn't have to. They can 
just come to the clinic and get their drugs. 

It seems almost a circular argument that, hey, this is a success- 
ful program because we're giving them what they want so they 
don't have to go out and take it from somebody else, but I am not 
quite sure that it has an effect, as you say, on unemployment, 
other than perhaps increasing it because they feel they don't have 
to or can't maintain a job because they are constantly going over 
to the clinic. 

Mr. Ehlers. I just can tell you what I saw in the research. The 
research showed that there was an increase in employment, a de- 
crease in unemployment. There is a stabilization of lives. 

I can give you the research if you would like. I have it. 

Mr. Boaz. Congressman, could I add one sentence in response to 
that? 

As a nonheroin user, I would consider a program successful if it 
reduced the amount of crime that I and my family had to be sub- 
jected to as we walk through a city like Washington, DC, or Zurich. 
It would be better if people cured their heroin addiction, but it is 



245 


certainly a success for the rest of society if crime went down 60 
percent. 

Mr. Barr. With regard to one other question that I posed earlier, 
Mr. Ehlers, to an earlier panelist with regard to studies docu- 
mented in the Marijuana and Medicine book that we have intro- 
duced into the record here that show demonstrably a very negative 
effect on human reproductivity. If you see this study and you con- 
clude, as I think is pretty obvious, that it does have an effect on 
the abnormal development and production of spermatozoa in hu- 
mans, would that be something that would be a success if we say 
it is OK for people to smoke marijuana and use other drugs, not- 
withstanding the possible effect or very likely effect it would have 
on birth defects and so forth? Would this also be harm reduction? 

Mr. Ehlers. I don't think it is OK to smoke marijuana. That is 
not really the point. 

One, I think there is a lot of conflicting evidence on the health 
effects of marijuana. I think Ira mentioned earlier another book 
that we would like to introduce into the record, "Marijuana Myths, 
Marijuana Facts." That looks at all the scientific research, and 
overall it shows that the negative health effects of marijuana are 
fairly benign. I don't think the research is there. 

Mr. Barr. I would respectfully say you are somewhat selective 
in research. 

On page 4 of your paper, you have as a footnote No. 8 to the fol- 
lowing statement: 'The I nstitute of Medicine found marijuana to be 
an effeive medicine." But if you look, as you have properly done, 
at the quote in your footnote No. 8, it simply says that the accumu- 
lated data indicates a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid 
drugs. I don't think that is quite the same thing as saying it is an 
effective medicine. Would you agree with that? That you might 
have overstated the case a little bit? 

Mr. Ehlers. I should have used a better quote like from the 
principal investigator. Dr. J ohn Bentsen, who said, "we concluded 
there are some limited circumstances in which we recommend 
smoking marijuana for medical uses." 

Mr. Barr. With regard to the Drug Policy Foundation, is the 
money that you all receive from George Soros received directly 
from him or does it come through other conduits? 

Mr. Ehlers. We receive a grant from the Open Society Institute 
to run our grant program. 

Mr. Barr. So it doesn't come directly from Mr. Soros? It comes 
from the Open Society Foundation of his? 

Mr. Ehlers. That is a foundation that he established, yes. 

Mr. Barr. Flow much do you receive? Is there a set amount that 
you receive each year or does it vary? 

Mr. Ehlers. This year the grant program received $1.75 million. 

Mr. Barr. Is that consistent with prior years or has it gone up 
or down? 

Mr. Ehlers. Yes, I think that is fair. I am not exactly sure, but 
I think that is about the same as what has happened in the past. 

Mr. Barr. Before I turn back to the chairman, Mr. Maginnis, as 
you have indicated, I know you have done extensive research and 
travel to Switzerland and the Netherlands and some of the other 
countries where they have gone further down the road toward le- 



246 


galization than we have at this point. Would you care to take just 
a couple of minutes— and I appreciate the chairman's indulgence— 
but just take a couple of minutes in response, to reflect on some 
of the other material we have gone over here in the last several 
minutes on the concept of harm reduction and whether or not the 
programs whereby citizens of Switzerland, for example, are allowed 
on a regular basis, several times each day, to go shoot up with 
drugs, whether this is indeed a benefit and a harm reduction. 

Mr. Maginnis. Yes, sir, I have visited Switzerland six times in 
the last 3 years specifically to look at the drug issue. It is interest- 
ing with r^ard to what the Swiss Government has been doing that 
even the Dutch Government, who is known for its drug policy, has 
been very critical of the outcome of the Swiss experiment. 

The World Health Organization just a couple of months ago real- 
ly condemned the outcome. They said, this is not science. They 
didn't use the word quackery, but if in fact you read their study, 
they come to that conclusion. 

And the INCB, the International Narcotics Control Board, just in 
May released a finding that this study or this experiment by Swit- 
zerland is misleading; it doesn't accomplish what it set out to do. 
And it set out to supposedly show that you could reduce harm, that 
you could help return people to effective lifestyles, healthy life- 
styles and so forth by giving them heroin. Of course, that changed 
radically as they went through. They added people and so forth. 

Now, with regard to crime, I interviewed the doctor who ran one 
of the clinics in Zurich, and they had an official from Bern, and he 
put together this so-called crime part. They used data that they 
picked up from the Bern Police Department on 40 of their addicts. 
Then, unfortunately they extrapolated those facts across the entire 
experiment, and they have really— it has been distorted in the 
press, the real facts, about the crime reduction. 

When you begin to ask addicts— and I did, I put together a video 
with the assistance of the Swiss that oppose this. And it is interest- 
ing, when we interviewed addicts coming out after having received 
their heroin shots, many just openly acknowledge, yeah, we take 
cocaine on the side. Where do you get the money for that? They 
didn't really want to tell us. We came to the conclusion after watch- 
ing and discussing this with them, quite frankly, they were prob- 
ably engaging in illegal activity to get their additional money. 

A lot of what you hear about crime is more anecdotal than fac- 
tual. Employment, the government gives them jobs— meaningless 
jobs for the most part. They are not putting together BMWs and 
Mercedes over there, not these heroin addicts. For the most part, 
they are sitting around waiting for their next heroin shot, as you 
indicated. Congressman. 

There are very few people, very few in this 3-year experiment 
that ever went on to meaningful treatment. I n fact, they are closing 
treatment facilities in Switzerland because they can't get enough of 
these heroin addicts. Because they are getting free dope from the 
government, they are not going to the treatment. So they are clos- 
ing them down. 

And as far as the overall effect, as I showed you in that slide, 
there is a great tolerance in that country. It is a great country, but 
the fact is that their drug policy— and they have already gone 



247 


through two constitutional referendums. They are probably going 
to have another one before long, those constitutional referendums. 
First, the people were confused, quite frankly, the government was 
supporting their heroin maintenance program. And the second one, 
of course, they came out and said, no, we are not going to legalize 
drugs. 

They are not really sure where they are going, but I can tell you 
from talking to many teachers and public officials that the effect 
is having a significant impact on the kids. The kids are using mari- 
juana at much higher rates than they ever have before, and it con- 
tinues to go up. Their view of heroin is not what it was 20 years 
ago. It is much more tolerant. 

I have seen the same thing in Holland. General McCaffrey went 
to Holland last summer. There was quite a lot of media play in 
that. He was very critical and rightfully so. Their figures that were 
posted by I nterpol aren't quite squaring with what they want to ac- 
cept by their country. 

I can remember— and I will stop with this. At Rotterdam, I went 
into the basement of a church where I talked with a heroin and a 
cocaine dealer, and I saw his dealings there. They were allowed to 
operate there, and anybody can come in and buy heroin. Anybody 
can use it right there. 

I watched this guy "chasing the dragon" which is basically sniff- 
ing this stuff, heroin, up into his nose. Then they go off, and they 
meander through the streets. They are not very coherent, and they 
are going to significantly increase certainly the public loitering 
problem. But they have really pulled down that beautiful part of 
the city into a terrible scourge on what otherwise is a pretty pro- 
ductive community. 

Mr. Barr. Is Mr. Soros involved also in channeling money to the 
Vienna foundation which supports these sorts of movements? 

Mr. Maginnis. I understand Mr. Soros has contributed to some 
organizations that promote liberal drug laws in Switzerland. As far 
as the Netherlands, I can't say specifically on that. 

Mr. Barr. Are you familiar, Mr. Ehlers, whether the figure, as 
I understand it, of $20 million that Mr. Soros has put into the Vi- 
enna foundation to further the legalization and expand the legal- 
ization effort is accurate or not? 

Mr. Ehlers. I don't know anything about that foundation or 
whether they have gotten any money. 

Mr. Barr. Thank you. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. 

Mr. Boaz, you seemed to like the Baltimore model sort of addic- 
tion as an alternative. Is that something that you support? You 
said that crime went down and you cited Mayor Schmoke, I guess 
it is, as someone who you said we should go to a more liberal pol- 
icy. 

Mr. Boaz. I did cite Mayor Schmoke, yes. 

Mr. Mica. Do you think that is a gocxi model? He has instituted 
that. 

Mr. Boaz. No, I am not particularly excited about the Baltimore 
model. I cited Mayor Schmoke as somebody who has come to 
realize 

Mr. Mica. Would you say it would bring crime down? 



248 


Mr. Boaz. My policy would, yes. If we eliminated the criminal 
penalties for the use and sale of these drugs, it would significantly 
reduce crime. People would be able to buy other mind-altering 
drugs in the same sorts of stores where they buy alcohol today, and 
they would not have to commit crimes in order to get those drugs, 
and the dealers would not have to shoot each other when they have 
a dispute. 

Mr. Mica. In Baltimore, they have adopted some of that policy 
under his leadership. Through 1996, we saw almost 40,000 people 
as heroin addicts. Mr. Cummings, who sits right over here, told me 
that the figure is closer to 60,000. That is 10 percent of the popu- 
lation. 

Mr. Boaz. I find that implausible, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mica. He told me 60,000. He cited it in hearings, that he es- 
timates in Baltimore. This is 2 years old and an official record 
given to me by the DEA. That would be about 10 percent of the 
population. Now, if we took that great model and we applied it on 
the United States, we have about 260 million, we would have 26 
million heroin addicts as an alternative. How is that sounding? 

Mr. Boaz. Mr. Chairman, nobody seriously believes that. If you 
had mandatory heroin use in the United States you couldn't get 26 
million addicts. 

If I could just make one suggestion 

Mr. Mica. This model seems to indicate that one city that has 
tried a liberalized policy has an incredible percentage of people that 
have become addicts. And I venture to say— I don't have the statis- 
tics here on the decrease in crime, but it certainly doesn't mirror 
New York, and it doesn't mirror the Nation as a whole. There has 
to be some cost to 39,000 people as heroin addicts. Wouldn't you 
say there is some cost involved? 

Mr. Boaz. There would be, if there were 39,000 heroin addicts. 

Mr. Chairman, I have not 

Mr. Mica. The information given to me by the DEA 

Mr. Boaz. I understand that. I have not studied the Baltimore 
situation. 

I would suggest the first problem with that chart is that you 
show 1950 and 1996. A lot of change has happened between 1950 
and 1996. A fair chart would at least show how many heroin ad- 
dicts there were in Baltimore when Kurt Schmoke was elected 
mayor and then whether there has been a change; and then if you 
can show that it doubled, and you have plausible figures, we have 
something to discuss. 

But the change from 1950 to 1996 cannot be attributed to any 
single policy. 

Mr. Mica. You say there are not 39,000 

Mr. Boaz. I am skeptical of that number, but I admit I have not 
studied Baltimore. 

Mr. Mica. Again, Mr. Cummings tells me the figure is much 
higher. He just lives there, and that is his neighborhood, so he 
probably wouldn't know. 

I have heard repeated comments that we have first -time mari- 
juana users, just users of marijuana, behind bars. Mr. McDonough, 
you testified that there were 14 folks in the State of Florida. 

Mr. McDonough. That is correct. In 1997. 



249 


Mr. Mica. In 1997. Some of those had other records. 

Mr. McDonough. In every case they had some other records. 

Mr. Mica. Mr. Glasser, are you from New York? 

Mr. Glasser. I am. But I don't know how many heroin addicts 
there are. 

Mr. Mica. This is an interesting study of incarceration that was 
just published in April that really debunks the theory that first- 
time drug users or simple even first-time felons involved with use 
of illegal drug substances are incarcerated. It was completed by the 
State of New York— Director of Criminal J ustice completed in April 
1999. 

I would like to submit this for the record and just read maybe 
one or two sentences from it. It is pretty comprehensive. Let me 
just read the conclusion: 

this report provides an accurate and objective insight into the manner in which 
the New York State criminal justice system adjudicates persons charged with drug 
offenses. Contrary to images portrayed by the Rockefeller drug law reform advo- 
cates, drug offenders serving time in our State prison system today are committed 
to prison because of their repeated criminal behavior, leaving judges with few op- 
tions short of prison. 

This is a very detailed report, basically mirroring what they said 
in Florida. 

Mr. Glasser. Is that violent behavior or is that repeated crimi- 
nal behavior? The repeated arrests, say, for a small amount of per- 
sonal marijuana? 

Mr. Mica. Again, it is documented. 

Mr. Glasser. What is documented? 

Mr. Mica. These are felony convictions. 

Mr. Glasser. I understand that. But the felony convictions can 
be violent or they can be for possession of a small 

Mr. Mica. Possession is not, as I understand it, a felony of mari- 
juana. 

Mr. Glasser. It can be. It depends on the amount. 

Mr. Mica. Yes, and the amount. 

Mr. Glasser. All I can tell you is that the U.S. Department of 
j ustice in 1993 produced a report, which I got from the U.S. Gov- 
ernment Printing Office in 1994, which, on page 3 of that report, 
says that nearly 17 percent of the total Federal prison population 
were drug offenders with no prior criminal 

Mr. Mica. Could you repeat the percent again? 

Mr. Glasser. Seventeen percent of the total Federal prison popu- 
lation were drug offenders with no prior criminal history. Eighty- 
four percent of the increase in State and Federal prison admissions 
since 1980 were accounted for by nonviolent offenders, which gen- 
erally means possession or buying or selling. And in 1995, only 13 
percent of all State prisoners were violent offenders. What you are 
dealing with here is the major proportion of the increase that has 
raised our prison population up to 1.8 million is for nonviolent drug 
offenses. If we were getting the kingpins and the violent people, we 
wouldn't have any more drug market. You guys are not doing it. 



250 


Mr. Mica. This report, it just happens to deal with facts and re- 
cent facts, disputes that. 

Mr. Glasser. What about these facts? 

Mr. Mica. Without objection, this report will be made part of the 
record, and I would be glad to insert that statement from 1993. 

[The information referred to follows:] 



251 


Narrow Pathways to Prison: 


The Selective Incarceration of 
Repeat Drug Offenders 
in New York State 



Katherine Lapp, Director of Criminal Justice 
April 1999 



252 


Advocates seeking to reduce or eliminate the incarceration of drug offenders often focus 
their concerns on the following two types of offenders: (1) incarcerated drug offenders with no 
prior felony arrest histories; and (2) incarcerated drug offenders whose only prior felony arrests 
(and perhaps convictions) involve drug offenses. This report helps to illuminate the 
circumstances underlying the incarceration of those two groups of offenders. It reveals that the 
vast majority of these offenders never receive prison sentences, and most of those who are 
sentenced to prison have failed to abide by conditions of community supervision. 

Part I: Drug Offenders with No Prior Felony Arrest (or Conviction) 

Few felony drug arrestees without prior felony histories receive prison sentences in 
New York State. As shown below in figure 1, fewer than 10 percent of disposed felony drug 
arrestees without a prior felony arrest (or conviction) are sentenced to prison. The other 90 
percent are diverted from the criminal justice system prior to conviction or sanctioned locally." 
These data suggest that the criminal justice system is very selective in its use of prison for first- 
time offenders. 


1996 Felony Drug Arrests of Defendants 
with No Prior Felony Arrest (or Conviction) 
in New York State 



Source: Division of Criminal Justice Services, Computerized Criminal History Database 3/99 







253 


2 


In order to provide greater insight into the reasons for the State incarceration of first-time 
offenders arrested on felony drug charges, data on 1998 admissions into prisons in New York 
State were reviewed. A DOCS admission cohort was used to avoid the problem of missing 
dispositions in the 1996 arrest cohort and to ensme that each offender is counted only once. 
However, an analysis utilizing the prison commitments from the 1996 arrest cohort would 
produce almost identical findings. 

Four factors help to explain the incarceration of drug offenders who have no prior felony 
histories. 

Factor 1: Seriousness of the drug offense 

Forty-nine percent of the 1,222 drug felons with no prior felony arrest histories 
who were committed to DOCS in 1998 were arrested for class A drug offenses.' 
Another 48 percent were arrested on class B drug charges. 

Of the “first felons” not arrested for a class A drug offense: 

Factor 2: Failure to comply with conditions of pre-trial release 

Forty-eight percent had one or more bench warrants issued against them 
while awaiting disposition on the drug charges for which they were eventually 
imprisoned. 

Factor 3: Rearrest while on pretrial release 

Fifty-seven percent were arrested at least once while on pretrial release awaiting 
disposition on the drug charges. The recidivists averaged over two additional 
arrests while on pretrial release. 

Factor 4: Misdemeanor prior arrest histories 

Forty percent had one or more prior misdemeanor arrests. Those with prior 
misdemeanor histories averaged 2.6 arrests each. 

These non-class A, first-time drag admissions will serve an average of 13 months in 


'New admissions are excluded from this analysis if they have any of the following 
characteristics: (1) non-drug top conviction charge, (2) prior felony arrests or convictions, (3) 
concurrent VFO commitment offense or (4) second felon status according to DOCS records. 



254 


3 

prison.^ The circumstances surrounding the incarceration of these felons are best illustrated 
through a review of typical cases. Below are summaries of the criminal histories of 20 first-time 
felons arrested on non-class A drug charges and admitted to prison in 1998. The 20 cases 
represent a computer-generated random sample of all such admissions. 

Case 1; 

This female is 27 at her first adult arrest in New York State and she is charged with misdemeanor drug possession. 
She absconds while on pretrial release and reappears almost two years later when she is arrested for felony class D 
drug possession. She is again released pretrial and again absconds. Two years later, she is rearrested for felony 
class B drug sale. The case is dismissed; she is returned to her pretrial release status and again fails to appear at a 
court hearing for the earlier class D drug possession arrest. Within nine months she reappears on a trespass arrest, 
but the case is dismissed and she is released. Two months later she is arrested for the fifth time and charged with a 
misdemeanor drug offense. Finally, she pleads guilty to the class D possession offense and is sentenced to 16 
months to 4 years in prison. 

Case 2: 

The subject is a male whose first adult arrest in New York State occurs when he is 19 years of age and involves a 
misdemeanor drug possession offense. Wi thin three months of that arrest, he is rearrested for felony class B dmg 
possession, pleads to attempted possession and received a five-year term of probation. Less than two years into his 
probation term, he is again arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of dmgs. Although he 
is convicted of tha t charge, he remains on probation. Approximately 14 months thereafter, he is rearrested for 
misdemeanor drug possession, his probation term is revoked and he is sentenced to two to six years in prison. 

Case 3: 

This male is 16 at his first adult arrest in New York State in 1994. This first arrest involves misdemeanor drug 
possession. Three months later he is arrested for sexual misconduct involving deviate sexual intercourse without the 
other party ' s consent and is adjudicated a youthful offender. Fifteen months later, he is involved in another 
incident and arrested for resisting arrest. Finally, he is arrested for five counts of felony class B drug possession and 
sentenced to two to six years in prison. 

Case 4: 

This male is 23 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He is first arrested for felony class B drug possession, 
convicted of attempted sale and sentenced to five years probation. Within three months of that sentence, he is 
rearrested on class B drug possession charges and released pretrial. While oh pretrial release (and probation), he is 
arrested for the third time on charges of robbery, kidnaping, burglary and weapons possession. Finally, his 
probation is revoked and he is sentenced to 36 to 108 months in prison. 

Case 5: 

This male is 19 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He is first arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana sale and 
received an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACOD). Within 10 days, he is again arrested on a 
misdemeanor property offense. Shortly after receiving another ACOD on the second charge, he is arrested a third 


^Time served data fi*om a 1998 DOCS release cohort indicate that first-time, non-class A 
drug felons serve, on average, 13 months in State prison. 



255 


4 

time for misdemeanor marijuana possession. A third ACOD is followed by a fourth arrest (marijuana sale) eight 
months later. While on pretrial release, he is arrested a fifth time for misdemeanor assault and harassment. He then 
fails to appear for a court hearing on his fourth arrest and a warrant is issued. However, before the warrant is 
executed he reappears on his sixth arrest, which again involves the sale of marijuana. He pleads guilty to the assault 
charge and receives 60 days in jail. Seven months later he is arrested, for the seventh time, on charges of 
misdemeanor drug possession and receives another 60 days. Finally, three years after his initial adult arrest, he is 
arrested for the eighth time, charged with felony class B drug sale and sentenced to 18 to 54 months in prison. 

Case 6: 

This male is 39 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He is arrested nine times within a three-year period. His 
arrest history begins with a misdemeanor assault charge. Within three weeks, he is rearrested for petit larceny but 
prosecution is declined. His next arrest involved petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Again, 
the prosecution is declined. He then reappears with a fourth arrest involving misdemeanor property offenses. ' 
While on pretrial release from the fourth arrest, he is twice rearrested for misdemeanor property offenses and 
released pretrial, in spite of the fact that a “failure to appear” bench warrant is issued in case four. Shortly after 
pleading guilty in cases five and six, he is arrested a seventh time for multiple felony class B drug sales, but is again 
released pretrial. Within three months and while on pretrial release, he is rearrested an eighth time for felony class 
B drug possession and is again released pretrial. Finally, he reappears in another three months with a third felony 
class B drug sale arrest, this timpi involving sales near drug school grounds and is sentenced to 12 to 36 months in 
prison. 

Case 7: 

This male is 24 at his first adult arrest in New York State. The fust arrest involves misdemeanor charges of criminal 
trespass. He is released pretrial and returns within two weeks with a second arrest, for misdemeanor property 
offenses. He then jumps bail and reappears wi thin three months on multiple charges of felony class B drug sale and 
possession and is sentenced to a five-year probation tenn. Over the next three years, he is the subject of seven 
bench warrants presumably regarding misbehavior while on probation. His probation is finally revoked and he is 
sentenced to a term of one to toe years in prison. 

Case 8: 

This male is 22 at his first adult arrest in New Yoric State. He is first arrested for marijuana possession, reckless 
driving, and a variety of other traffic offenses. He pleads guilty to marijuana possession for which he receives a jail 
term. Within a year, he is rearrested for felony-level marijuana possession and the unlicensed operation of a motor 
vehicle. He pleads guilty and is sentenced to 16 months to 4 years in prison. 

Case 9: 

This male is 20 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He has a total of nine arrests within two and one-half 
years. His first arrest involves misdemeanor assault charges; be is released pretrial and absconds. Thereafter, he is 
rearrested for multiple felony class B drug sales, convicted of felony class C drug possession and sentenced to five 
years probation. Within 1 5 months of his sentence to probation, he is again arrested for misdemeanor assault and 
reckless endangerment involving grave risk of death. While on pretrial release from the second assault charge (and 
probation), he is rearrested for felony class C drug possession. Both the assault and drug charges terminate in 
dismissal and he remains on probation. A month later, he is again arrested for felony drug possession and released 
pretrial. Within four months, he is rearrested for misdemeanor assault, unlawful imprisonment, and weapons 
possession. He is again released pretrial and rearrested two months later for the obstruction of governmental 
administration and resisting arrest. Four months later he has a scries of two more arrests, the second of which 
involved another assault offense. Finally, his probation is revoked on the earlier drug possession offense and he is 
sentence to prison for two to six years. 



256 


5 


Case iO: 

This male is 16 at his first adult airest in New York State. He has a total of five arrests in a span of two and one-half 
years. His history begins with a misdemeanor marijuana arrest upon which he is released pretrial and absconds. 
Within a month, he is rearrested for two counts of felony class B drug sale, again is released pretrial ^d again 
absconds. He reappears approximately two years later on an arrest for felony class B drug sale md possession and 
burglary of a dwel^g. He dien pleads guilty to the original marijuana cha^e and is released pretrial on the felony 
drug arrests. He absconds again, only to be rehimed six months later on a new arrest with charges of reckless 
endangenncnt involving the grave risk of death to another, criminal mischief and^e possession of weapons. The 
case is adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and he remains on pretrial release in spite of the fact that numerous 
bench warrants are issued for failure to appear on the felony drug charges. Finally, he reappears with a 
misdemeanor drug arrest, pleads guilty to the prior felony drug arrests and is sentenced to two to six years in prison. 

Case 11: 

This male is 20 at his first adult arrest in New York State. His first arrest involves the violation of the Public Health 
Law regarding tiie sale of imitation controlled substance. ViTiile on pretrial release, he is rearrested for multiple 
felony class B drug sales, pleads guilty and is sentenced to a five-year probation term. The protetionls revoked on 
a technical violation and the offender is rcsentenced to prison for 1 to 3 years. 

Case 12; 

This male is 38 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He is firat arrested on felony class B drug sale charges. 
Witiiin one month, he is arrested a second time for die same offense. The court issues multiple warrants in both 
cases for failure to appear for various court hearings and he is eventually sentenced to a prison tenn of one to tijree 
years. 


Case 13: 

This female is 3 1 at her first adult arrest in New York State. She is arrested on three occasions within 1 3 months. 
The first arrest involves multiple felony class B drug sale offenses, including sales near school grounds. Within two 
weeks, she is arrested again for misdemeanor drug possession, pleads guilty and is sentenced to time served 
(approximately eight days in jail). She continues to abscond on the felony drag case until she is arrested a tiiird time 
for criminal trespass and resisting arrest, after which she is sentenced to one te three years on her fast arrest. 

Case 14: 

This male is 1 6 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He has a total of five anests within two years. He is first 
arrested for criminal mischief involving property damage. On the day that the case is disposed through an ACOD, 
he is rearrested for felony class B drug possession and loitering. He is then reairested within a month for a grand 
larceny that occurred prior to his first arrest and is then sentenced to a five-year probation term for the felony class 
B drag arrest Two days into his probation term, he is arrested for the fourtii time with charges of criminal 
possesion of stolen property and resisting arrest His fiftii arrest involves felony class D drug possession charges as 
well as resisting arrest. Finally, his probation is violated on technical grounds and he is sentenced to one to three 
years in prison. 

Case 15: 

This male is 16 at his fust adult arrest in New York State. He has a total of six arrests in less than two years. The 
first arrest involves multiple charges of felony class B drag sale. He is released pretrial and absconds. Seven 
months later he is reairested for the same offense and again released pretrial. He returns in another month with 



257 


6 

multiple felony class B drug sale charges. Again, he is released and reappears two months later with a fourth arrest 
involving felony cIj^s B drug possession. At tins point he pl^ds gutUy to one of die earlier cases in satisfaction of 
all four and receives a prison term of one to three years. Apjnoximately a year later, he reemerges with new arrests 
for felony class B drug sales, including sale near school ground, but the prosecution is declined. Less than a month 
later, he is rearrested for felony class B criminal possession and burglary and the charges remain undisposed at the 
time of this review. 

Case 16; 

This male is 41 at bis first adult arrest in New York Stole. He is first arrested on multiple felony class B drug sale 
offenses, released pretrial and absconds. He reappears seven months later when he is arrested for misdemeanor drug 
possession. Two months after his second pretrial release, he is rearrested on another felony class B drug sale. He 
pleads to charges in the first arrest and is sentenced to one to three years in prison. 

Case 17: 

This male is 26 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He is charged with seven counts of felony class B drug 
sale and six counts of felony class B drug possession. He pleads guilty and is sentenced to a minimum^term of 30 
months in prison, 

Case 18: 

This male is 22 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He is arrested for and pleads guilty to two coimts of 
felony class B drug sale and to sentenced to 28 months to seven years in prison. 

Case 19: 

This male is 37 at his first adult arrest in New York State. He is first arrested on a felony marijuana charge and 
sentenced to probation. Subsequent to completion of the probation term, he is rearrested on three felony class B 
drug sales, as well as a v'aricty of Vehicle and Traffic misdemeanors. He pleads guilty and is sentenced to one to 
three years in prison. 

Case 20: 

This male is 35 at his ftrst adult arrest in New York Stote. He is arrested for mtiltiple felony class B drug sales, 
including drug sales near school grounds. He pleads guilty to attempted drug sale and is sentenced to 1 to 3 years in 
prison. 


Part II: Drug Offenders Whose Only Prior Felony History (Arrest or Conviction) 

Involves Drug Offenses 

Most suspects who are arrested for felony-level drug crimes and whose prior felony 
histories are limited to drug crimes do not receive prison sentences in New York State. As 
shown below in figure 2, approximately 70 percent of the disposed felony arrests are either 
diverted from the criminal justice system prior to conviction, or sanctioned locally. Again, these 
data indicate a very selective use of prison even when the arrestee has a prior drug felony arrest 
history. 



258 


7 


1996 Felony Drug Arrests of Defendants with Prior Felony Arrest Histories 
in New York State Limited to Felony Drug Arrests 



Source: Division of Criminal Justice Services, Computerized Criminal History Database 3/99 

Many factors beyond the “second felony offender” law explain why certain felony drug arrestees 
with only prior felony drug histories are co mmi tted to State prison. As before, data on new 
admissions to DOCS in 1998 are used to identify factors contributing to their incarceration. The 
analysis shifts from an arrest cohort to a DOCS admission cohort to avoid the problem of 
undisposed cases and to insure that each offender is counted only once. Approximately 1,700 
drag offenders admitted to DOCS had felony histories limited to drag offenses.^ Thirteen 
percent of the admissions were arrested on class A drag charges. The following factors help to 
explain the incarceration of the remaining 87 percent of “drug only” admissions: 

Factor 1: Seriousness of the drug offense 

Almost all (97%) of the remaining admissions were arrested for felony class 
B drug offenses. 


^New admissions are excluded from this analysis if they have any of the following 
characteristics: (1) non-drag top conviction charge, (2) prior non-drag felony arrest or conviction 
or (3) concurrent VFO commitment offense. 






259 


8 

Factor 2: Prior commitment to probation or prison 

Seventy-two percent served prior probation or prison terms and still 
continued their involvement in drug crimes. 

Factor 3: Prior arrest histories 

These “drug only” offenders averaged 2.5 prior felony drug arrests and 2.2 
prior misdemeanor arrests. 

Factor 4: Failure to comply with conditions of pre-trial release 

Twenty-eight percent had one or more bench warrants issued against them 
while awaiting disposition on the drug charges for which they were eventually 
imprisoned. 

Factor 5: Rearrest while on pretrial release 

Thirty-two percent were arrested at least once on pretrial release while awaiting 
disposition on the drug charges for which they were eventually imprisoned. 

Again, a computer-generated random sample of 20 of the non-class A, “drug only” 
admissions was selected for review. The following are simimaries of those histories. 

Case 1; 

The subject is a female whose first adult anest in New York State occurred when she was 20 years of age. She is 
initially arrested for a felony class B drug sale and receives a five-year probation term. Six months into her 
probation sentence, she is rearrested for misdemeanor drug possession, but remains on probation with the charges 
dismissed. Five months thereafter, she is again arrested for a felony class B drug offense, the charges, again, are 
dismissed and she remains on probation. Approximately 18 months later, she is again arrested for felony class B 
drug sale and her probation sentence is finally revoked and she apparently is sentenced to a term in prison. She 
reappears five years later with an arrest for mis demeanor trespass. Within five days, she is again arrested for 
misdemeanor drug atid property offenses, but jun^s bail. She appears again four months later after an arrest on 
misdemeanor drug charges and trespass. Although she is sentenced to 15 days in jail, she is not held on her earlier 
“failure to appear” warrant. But, within six months of her release from jail, she is again arrested for a felony class B 
drug offense, pleads guilty on both the undisposed misdemeanor and the felony offense and receives a prison term 
of 27 to 54 months. 

Case 2: 

The subject is a male whose first adult arrest in New York State occurs when he is 20 years of age. He is initially 
arrested for felony class C drug possession, released pretrial and absconds. While absconded, he is arrested twice 
more. First he is arrested for felony class C drug possession, again released pretrial and again absconds. Then, he is 
arrested for felony class B drug sale and finally receives a jail sentence of one year. Within 18 months of his release 
from jail, he is again arrested for felony class B drug sale. However, this time he also possesses firearms. Still, he 
is released pretrial and absconds, only to be returned on a new felony class B drug sale offense. He resists arrest, 
eventually pleads guilty and is sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison. 



260 


9 


Case 3: 

The subject is a male whose first adult arrest in New Yoric State occurs when he is 20 years of age, at which time he 
is arrested for felony class B drug possession and petit larceny. The charges are dismissed and he does not reappear 
as an arrest in New York State for a number of ytzis. Eventually, he reappears with a new felony class B drug sale 
arrest and receives a probation term of three years. A few years after completing his probation term, he is again 
rcarrested for 14 counts of felony class B drug sales, at which time he receives a prison term of 18 months to 3 
years. 

Case 4: 

The subject is a female whose first adult arrest in New York State occurs when she is 20 years of age. Her initial 
arrest involves misdemeanor property offenses that are eventually dismissed. She reappears many years later on 
felony class B drug sale charges that are later dismissed. Within two years, she is again arrested for felony class D 
drug possession and serves a short jail term. Within four years, she is again arrested for felony class B drug sales, 
including drug sale near school grounds. She absconds while on pretrial release, but is returned. She pleads guilty 
and receives a minimum prison term of 1 8 months. 

Case 5: 

The subject is a nrale whose first adult arrest in New York State occurs when he is 34 years of age, at which time he 
is anrested for felony class B drug sale. The charges arc dismissed, but only after he is again arrested for two new 
counts of felony class B drug sale. He absconds while on pretrial release, only to return five years later on charges 
of grand larceny and crimina l possession of stolen property. The prosecution declines those charges and he again is 
released pretrial on the five-year-old drug charges. Once again, he fails to appear for a cotat hearing and is returned 
a year later after a new arrest for class A-1 drug sale and possession offenses. Those charges are eventually 
dismissed and he is released without standing trial for the imdisposed drug offense. However, he returns within a 
year on charges of felony assault and resisting arrest and is finally sentenced to a minimum prison teim of 1 8 
monfes for the seven-year-old drug offense. 

Case 6: 

This male’s first adult arrest in New York State occurs when he is 18 years of age, at which time he is arrested for 
felony class B drug sale and the charges are later dismissed. Within two months of die dismissal, he is arrested for 
felony class A-II possession and receives a three-year probation sentence. Within 13 months of his sentence to 
probation, be is again arrested for a felony class B drug sale. He pleads to a misdemeanor, serves a short jail term 
and remains on probation. Two mon&s later, he is arrested on another felony class B drug offense, but still remains 
at liberty. Four months later, he is again arrested for felony class B drug sale and felony class A-H drug possession. 
Finally, his probation is revoked and he is sentenced to one to three years in prison. Within three years, he 
reappears with a misdemeanor drug possession arrest Over the next 18 months he has a series of three arrests 
involving felony class B drug sale offenses as well as resisting arrest. The series of arrests result in a second prison 
sentence of three to six years. 

Case 7; 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 1 6 ycare of age. He is arrested for felony class B drug 
sale and sentenced to a five-year probation term. Within nine months of his sentence to probation, he is rearrested 
for felony class C drug possession. While on pretrial release (and probation), he is arrested twice more, first for 
misdemeanor drug possession and then for felony class B drug sale. These various arrests result in a second 
probation sentence of five years. Within three years, he is again arrested on felony class B drug charges and 
receives a prison term of five to ten years. 



261 


10 


Case 8: 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 23 years of age. Ilis first arrest involves a property 
misdemeanor, for which he fails to appear for trial. Withm a few months, he is rearrested on multiple drug sales 
including sale near school grounds and is sentenced to a five-year probation term. Within two years, he reappeais 
with two new arrests, including criminal possession of a weapon. He stiU remains at liberty and, within a month of 
the weapon airest, he is reaxrested for felony class B drug possession. He pleads guilty to a misdemeanor 
possession offense and is sentenced to two days of community service. Within four months, he is again reanested 
for felony class B drug sales, including sale of drugs near school grounds. Finally, he receives a prison term of 1 S 
mon&s to three years. 

Case 9: 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 19 years of age. He first appears with a felony class B 
drug arrest for which he receives a misdemeanor conviction and fiirec yeare probation. Within a month of his 
sentence to probation, he is rcarrested for misdemeanor drag possession. He remains at liberty and is arrested two 
monte later on felony class B drug sale. He pleads guilty to attempted sale and is again sentenced to probation 
(five-year term). Six months later, he is again arrested for felony class B drug sale, absconds on pretrial release and 
is later acquitted at trial. Within another six months (and prior to his acquittal), he is rearrested for a variety of 
offenses including robbery, assault, grand larceny and cruninal possession of stolen property. These charges get 
dismissed and he remains on probation. Finally, within another year, he is arrested on multiple felony class B drug 
sale offenses including a sale near school groimds. His probation is revoked and he is sentenced to 54 monte to 
nine years. 

Case 10; 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 1 8 years of age, at which time he is arrested for three 
counts of felony class B drug possession and receives a one-year jail term. Within three monte of his release from 
jail, he is again arrested for three counts of felony class B drug possession. He is released pretrial and absconds, 
only to return two years later with a new arrest for felony class B drug possession. He receives a prison term of one 
to three years. 

Case 11; 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 17 years of age, at which time he is arrested for felony 
class B drug sale (two coimts). Within two week, he is twice rcarrested for the same offense. He pleads guilty to 
one of the charges and is sentenced to five years of probation. Two months after receiving the probation sentence, 
he is again reairested for felony class B drug sale. His probation is revoked and he is sentenced to one to three years 
in prison. He reappears two and one-half years later with two new arrests within two monte of each other. Both 
involved felony class B drug sales. One occurs near school grounds and the other arrest included a charge for 
possession of burglary tools. He is then sentenced to prison fex 30 monte to five years. 

Case 12 : 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 36 years of age. The first arrest involves multiple felony 
class B <hug sale charges. Within two months of that arrest and while on pretrial release, he is rearrested for felony 
class C drug sale. He pleads guilty and receives a one-year jail term. Within a year of his release from jail, he is 
again arrested for two counts of felony class B drug sale and receives a sentence of three to six years in prison. 



262 


11 


Case 13; 

The subject is a male whose first adult arrest in New York State occurs when he is 26 years of age. The first arrest 
involves multiple charges of felony class B drug sale, including sale near school grounds. He is released pretrial for 
less than a month when he is arrested for two more cotm^ of felony class B drug sale. These two cases result in a 
sentence of one to three years in prison. Less than a year later, he is again arrested for felony class B dmg sales, 
including sale near school ground. He is again sentenced to prison for a term of thirty months to five years. 

Case 14: 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New Yoric State at 17 years of age. He is first arrested for two counte of 
felony class B drug sale and sentenced as a youthful offender to a cme-year jail term and five yeats of probation. 
Within 18 monthsofhisreleasefrom jail, he is rcarrested for felony class B dmg sales. He is released pretrial and 
jumps bail. Within a few months he is arrested on the bail jtm^jing offense, his probation is revoked and he is 
sentenced on the drug charge to one to three years in prison. 

Case 15: 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New Yoric State at 16 years of age. His initial arrest involves harassment 
and misdemeanor assault charges. Within one month and while on pretrial release, he is arrested for criminal 
trespass. He is again released pretrial and arrested one month later in possession of stolen property and btirglary 
teols. He pleads guilty to trespass and receives 15 days in jail. Two months later, he is again arrested on criminal 
trespass and receives another i5-day sentence. One month later, he is arrested for three counts of felony class B 
drug sale and again released pretrial. He absconds and is returned and sentenced as a youthful offender to one year 
in jail and five years of probation, after which his original assault charge is dismissed. Nine months later, he is 
rearrested for felony class B drug sale. He is released pretrial and returns a month later with a felony class C drug 
possession charge. His probation is finally revoked and he is sentenced to one to three years in prison. 

Case 16: 

The subject is a female whose first adult arrest in New Yoric State occurs when she is 39 years of age. Her first 
arrest involves a felony class B drug sale near school grounds and multiple drug possession charges. Within seven 
months and while on pretrial release, she is arrested three more tiines; each arrest involves felony class B drug sales, 
including a sale near school grounds. Finally, she is sentenced to prison for one to three years. 

Case 17: 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 19 years of age. His first arrest involves felony class B 
drug sales including sales near school grounds. While on pretrial release, he is twice rearrested. His first rearrest 
occuned less than a month after his initial arrest and involves harassment and obstruction of governmental 
administration. Within another month, he is again arrested for felony class B drug sales, including sale near school 
grounds. He receives a prison term of one to three years. 


Case 18: 

This male is first arrested as an a<kiU in New York State at 24 years of age, at which time he is arrested for multiple 
counts of felony class B drug sale. While on pretrial release, he is rearrested on felony class B drug charges. The 
cases are consolidated and he is sentenced to a prison term of one to three years. 



263 


12 


Case 19: 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 17 years of age, at which time he is anested for multiple 
counts of felony class B drug sale. He receives a youthful offender adjudication and a five-year probation term. 

Less than a month later, he is again arrested for felony class B drug sale. His probation is revoked and he is 
sentenced to one to three years in prison. 

Case 20: 

This male is first arrested as an adult in New York State at 37 years of age, at which time he is arrested for of felony 
class B drug sale, criminal trespass and resisting arrest He absconds while on pretrial release and is returned within 
a month with a new series of anests involving felony class B drug sale and criminal trespass, and eventually 
receives a sentence of three months in jail and five years on probation. He is on probation for less than two months 
when he is again anested for multiple counts of felony class B drug sale and resisting arrest. His probation is 
revoked and he is sentenced to two to four years in prison. 

Conclusion: 

This report provides an accurate and objective insight into the manner in which New 
York State’s criminal justice system adjudicates persons charged with drug offenses. Contrary to 
images portrayed by Rockefeller Drug Law reform advocates, the drug offenders serving time in 
our State prison system today are committed to prison because of their repeated criminal 
behavior leaving judges with few options short of prison. 

In the past decade, numerous alternative to prison and prison division programs have 
been implemented to target non-violent drug abusing offenders in an effort to reduce unnecessary 
reliance on prison and r^uce recidivism among this category of offenders. The programs range 
from merit time, to Shook Incarceration, D-TAP, and the Willard Drug Treatment program. 
Those programs and others have yielded promising results; however, as this report clearly 
demonstrates, when offenders continue to flaunt the system and fail to abide by the conditions of 
their release, the court must take swift action and impose appropriate sentences of imprisonment 
in order to protect society and break the cycle of crime. 



264 



National Headquarters 1 25 Broad Street. New York. N.Y. 10004-2400 


June 22, 1999 


Hon. John L. Mica, Chair 

106 Cannon House Office Building 

Washington, DC 205 1 5 

Dear Chairman Mica: 

During my testimony on June 16, you asked me for comments on the 
Governor’s assessment of drug offender incarceration rates in New York. 

Enclosed are two documents: 1) a response to that assessment by 
Human Rights Watch; and 2) a paper by the Correctional Association 
of New York on the Rockefeller drug laws. I respectfully request that 
both be included in the record. 

Thank you. 


Sincerely, 


,QL__ 


Ira Glasser 


/ml 

Enclosure 


Nadine Strossen President 


!ra Glasser Executive Director 


Kermeth B. Clark Chat, Natianal Advisory CourKil 


Richard Zacks Treasurer m ^ 



265 


HUMANS RIGHTS WATCH 

:iSO Firth Avc.. .'t'lth Floor 
New York, NY 10518-3299 
•|•dephonc:al2)2^^i-^2ll 
Facsimilci{212) 736-1300 
li-muil; hrwnytC«3llAv.org 


Website: hltp://wv/w.hrw.()rg 

Nemielh Rorh 
lUetuilru Dmclor 
MichcIc Alexander 

l}evrJnpMent OirvLior 
Ojinill Hubert 
('.ommunir.ttliuns UirvUur 

Keed Brody 

A‘fvtn:itr.y HirccUtr 

Cynihin Brown 

t'njyrurii 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
May 11, 1999 

For further information contact: 
Jamie Kellner 212-216-1212 


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The Path to Prison: 

A Response to The Governor’s Assessment of 
Drug Offender Incarceration Rates 

A Human Rights Watch briefing paper 


Human Rights Watch cominends Governor Pataki for placing reform of the slate's drug 
sentencing laws on the legislative agenda for 1 999. He has taken a step in Ihe right 
direction by recognizing the need to lower the highest sentences imposed under the 
current laws and to increase the number of addicted defendants placed in drug treatment 
programs. 

Much more is needed, however. The legislation the governor has proposed fails lo 
address Ihe core problem with New York’s current laws — ihe over-incarceration ol' low* 
level offenders, resulting from mandatory minimums, an excessively harsh sentencing 
structure keyed solely to the weight of the drug involved, and the ability of prosecutors 
to wield far too much power over tire sentencing of individual delendants, 

The limitations in the governor s proposal reflect an unwillingness To acknowledge the 
extent to which low-lcvcl nonviolent drug olVendcrs arc incarcerated. The aimouncemenl 
of Pataki’s proposed reforms was accompanied by publication of a report, “Narrow 
Pathway.s to Prison: The Selective Incarceration of Repeat Drug Offenders in New York 
State,’’ by Katherine Lapp, the state’s director of criminal justice. In this report, Ms. Lapp 
contends tlte state i.s “very selective” in its use of prison ftir drug offenders and that those 
who are sentenced to prison deserve to be there. Lapp's conclusions arc surpri.sing, given 
that her data shows that 3,226 drug oHenders were incarcerated in 1 998 even though they 
were either Hrst offenders or had previously been convicted only of nonviolent dmg 
offenses. 


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Human Rights Watch believes tlie di.scussion of drug policy reform is best served by an 
understanding of the relevant facts. Unfortunately , “Narrow Patiiways” offers a limited 
amount of data, much of it presented in a misleading fashion. We therefore oi ler some 
fact-based responses to Lapp’s claims and provide some additional relevant information 
on drug offenders crucial to an informed drug sentencing debate. 


RRUSSELS 


UONGKONG LONDON LOS aNGEI.F.S MOSCOW lNt:W YORK RIO l>F, .JANEIRO WASHINGTON 



266 


Claim; Few lirsl-time felony drug arrestees receive prison sentences. 

Reality; 1 ,526 men and women with no prior felony arrests or convictions were incarcerated 
in 1998. 

One in seven ( 1 4%) of first time drug arrestees were incarcerated, Lapp 
contends their incarceration rate was only 9.8% through a statistical slcight-of- 
hand; she compared the number of those sent to prison against the number 
initially arrested. The relevant mea.sure, however, is how many first offenders 
convicled of a nonviolent drug olTcnse are sent to prison. 


Claim: Many first olTendcrs were incarcerated because they committed serious drug 
offenses, as shown by their arrest charges for Class A and B felonies. 

Reality; Most incarcerated first offenders were convicted of low-level drug offen.ses. At 
the end of 1 998, there were 6,382 men and women in pri.son for drug offenses 
sentenced as first offenders. Of these, 624 were convicted of Class A- 1 felonies, 
1,899 of Class A-2, 2,153 of Class B, and L706 of Classes C-E. 

Arrest charges do not refiect the seriousne.ss of a defendant's conduct. In drug ca.ses 
police routinely make arrests on the highest po.s.siblc charges. This permits the 
prosecutors to bargain for information and guilty pleas in exchange for lower 
charges and lower sentences. For example, drug olfenders suspected of being 
involved in street-level drug sales of small drug amounts are routinely arrested on 
Class B charges and then are convicted of Class C or D level crimes. 

Class A or B offenses are not limited to dangerous criminal conduct. Anyone who 
participates, however tangentially and in however minor a capacity, in the sale ol’ 
two ounces of drugs or who possesses as little as four ounces, can be convicted of a 
Class A offense. Possession of half an ounce of drugs or the sale of any amount, 
however minute, constitutes a Class B offense. 


Claim: Few drug arrestees whose prior criminal histories are limited to drug felonies 
(“drug-only” offenders) receive pri.son sentences. 

Reality: 1,700 “drug-only” offenders went to prison for nonviolent drug crimes in 1 998. 

Two out of five, or 40%, of tlic drug-only olTendcrs are incarcerated. Lapp states 
their incarceration rate is 30% becau.se she compares the number of those sent to 
prison against those arre.stcd. As noted above, however, tlte relevant measure is the 
number (jf convicted drug-only offenders sent to prison. But even Lapp's figure of 
30%, or otic in three, is remarkably high for a population that is nonviolent and 
consists primarily ol'low-Icvel offenders. 


2 



267 


Claim: Tlie second-felony oflender law is not primarily responsible for the incarceration of 
repeat drug offenders. 

Reality.- The basis for this claim is inexplicable, ’llie second-felony offender law explicitly 
requires the incarceration of felony offenders with prior felony convictions. T.app 
her.seW states that 72% of the 1996 arresltses with prior drug crimes had previously 
served prior probation or prison terms, i.e., had prior convictions for felonie.s. 

Claim: The seriousness of the drug offense for which defendants were arrested help.s 
explain the incarceration of "drug-tmly” repeat offenders. 

Reality: Mo.sl incarcerated “drug-only” repeat offenders were convicted of the lowest 
level drug crimes. 

According to the Department t)f Correction:?, 15,922 people in New York prisons 
at the end of 1998 had been sentenced as second felony offenders. Only 1% were 
convicted of class A crimes. 


Repeat Drug Offenders in Prison 

Felonv ('lass 

Number 

Percentage 

A-Il 

236 

1% 

B 

4,312 

27% 

C-E 

11,456 

72% 


The Path to Prison 

Data from the Department of Corrections of the Divl.siori of Criminal Justice Services shows that 
the road to prison for drug ofl'enders is a broad highway and not— as I.app erroneously contends 
— a “narrow pathway.” 

Fact: Thousands of low-level druf' offenders are incarcerated each year. 

As orOccember 31, 1998, there were 22,386 men and women in New York prisons 
convicted ofnonviolcnt drug offenses. One in four was convicted of simply possessing 
drugs. 

Fifty-nine percent of the incarcerated drug offenders, 1 3,612 people, were convicted ol 
sales (ir possession <iffcnses in the three lowest felony classes -Class C, D or F.. These 
felonies involve minute drug amounts. 


3 




268 


Fact-. Thousands of drug offenders who have not engaged in violent. .<ierUm.s or dangerous 

criminal conduct are sent to prison each year. 

-Three out of four (77.5%) drug offenders sent to prison have never been 
convicted of a violent felony. 

- One in three (3 1 .8%) has no prior felony conviction for any crime. 

- Half (50.9%) have no prior felony drug convictions. 

- Half were people whose only prior criminal conduct — whether detected 
or undetected by law enforcement agencies — consisted of low-lcvel 
nonviolent drug-related offenses.^ 

- Only 9.7% have prior convictions for both drug and violent felonies. 

The Lapp report chronicle.s the criminal history of forty repre-sentative ca.se.s of men and women 
arrested in 1996 for drug offenses. Many had multiple arrests and convictions on misdemeanor 
as well as felony drug charges, as well as histories of failing to comply with the term.s of pretrial 
release and/or probation. Their stories illustrate a well known fact about the current criminal 
justice system; it functions as a turnstile operation tlirough which thousands of minor drug 
offenders spin without receiving adequate supervision or any drug treatment. Sotmer or later, 
many end up as second felony offenders sent to prison at great cost to themselves, their lamilies, 
their communities and the stale. 


Human Rights Watch believes Hew York must confront forthrightly the wisdom, justice, and 
cost of incarcerating thousands of low-level nonviolent offenders.^ Prison sentences that arc 
disproportionate to the offender’s conduct violate internationally recognized human rights as 
well as common sense. Whetlier they are first time drug offenders or people with multiple 
convictions for drug offenses, whether they arc convicted of possession or sale, most of the drug 
offenders packing New York’s prisons were guilty ofconduct involving minute drug quantities 
or of playing minor roles in the drug trade. Thou-sands are substance abusers, and their criminal 
history i.s directly linked to their addiction. 

Wc call for drug law relbrm that will enable courts to fa.shion proporlionafc, fair, and sensible 
sentences, including substance abuse treatment and other effective alternatives to incarceration. 
Mandatory minimums triggered arbitrarily by the quantity ofdrug invDlvcd regardless olThc 
offender’s role in the offense should be abolished. 


'John J. Dilulio Jr.. “Ayain.« Mandfuory Minimums,” National Review. No. 9. Vul. 51, p. 

'Additional iiiibniiation and lull ciiaticns be found ai llie Human Rigbis Watch wcbstio ai lmp://wv/w, hrw.org. I iu' an exlcnsivc anslysls of 
the nature imd impact of New York’s drug laws, see the 1997 Human B»el«s Watch report, "Croc) tnul IJ.'iual: Disi>fopnnioniile Scmcncss Ibr 
New York IJrug Offenders.” 


4 



269 



Reform The Rockefeller Drug Laws 


Enacted in 1973 when Neslon Rockefeller was governor, the Rockefeller Drug Laws 
require harsh prison terms for the possession or sale of relatively small amounts of drugs. 
For example, the harshest provision of this statute mandates a judge to impose a prison 
term of no less than 15 years to life for anyone convicted of selling 2*ounces or 
possessing 4 ounces of a narcotic substance. The penalties apply without regard to the 
circumstances of the offense or the individual's character or background. Whether 
the person is a first-time or repeat offender, for instance, is irrelevant. 


Relevant Points 


1. At great expense to the taxpayer, these laws fill our prisons with low-level, non- 
violent offenders. 

• There are over 22,300 drug offenders locked up in New York State prisons. It cost 
the state over $2 billion to construct the prisons to house these people. And the 
operating expense for confining them comes to over S715 million per year. 

• In 1998, 46.6% of the people sent to state prison were drug offenders. In 1980, the 
figure was only 11%. 

• Twenty-five percent of the drug offenders in New York State prisons, over 5500 
people, were locked up for drug possession, as opposed to drug selling. It costs about 
S180 million per year to keep these people in prison. 

• Of all drug offenders sent to NYS prisons in 1997, nearly 80% were never convicted 
of a violent felony and nearly half were never arrested for a violent felony. 

• Sixty percent of the drug offenders in NYS prisons were convicted of the three lowest 
felonies - Class C, D, or E - which involve only minute drug amounts. For example, 
only Vz gram of cocaine is required for conviction of Class D felony possession, and 
1,242 people are locked up for that offense. 


(over) 



270 


2. These laws are marked by racial bias. 

• Studies and experience have shown that the majority of people who use and sell drugs 
in NYS and the nation are white. 

• African-Americans and Latinos comprise over 94% of the drug offenders in NYS 
prisons. African-Americans, 48.7%; Latinos, 45.5%; whereas whites make up only 
4.9%. 


3. Alternatives are available that save money and cut crime. 

• A 1997 study by RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center concluded that treatment is 
the most effective tool in the fight against drug abuse, finding that treatment reduces 
1 5 times more serious crime than mandatory minimum sentences. 

• Several ’studies sponsored by the Nationd Institute on Drug Abuse have shown that 
drug treatment programs, on the whole, are successful in reducing the levels of drug 
abuse and crime among participants and in increasing their ability to hold a job. 

• The cost of keeping an inmate in NYS prison for a year is about $32,000. In 
comparison, the cost of most drug free outpatient care runs about $2,700-4,500 per 
person per year; and the cost of residential drug treatment is $17, 000-521,000 per 
participant per year. 

4. By wide margins, the public shows support for drug law reform. 

• According to a recent Zogby International poll: 

•64% of the public do not consider a legislator who votes for drug law reform “soft 
on drugs;” more than double those who do (31%). 

-51% are more likely to vote for a legislator who supports a bill to reduce drug 
sentences; 25% are less likely. 

-74% chose treatment over jail/prison for those convicted of drug possession, where 
only 19% chose jail/prison. 

• According to a recent poll by Quinnipiac College: 

-69% of the public would rather have the trial judge set the sentence given to drug 
offenders than have the court be bound by mandatory statutes. 


Juae 7, 1999 



271 


The Correctional Association 
of New¥)rk 

FOUNDED 1844 

135 EAST 15th STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10003 (212) 254-5700 


Rnokefellfr T)rug Law Repeal 


RArKGROTIND 


With the active support of then Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the New York Drug Laws 
were enacted in 1973, instituting lengthy prison sentences for a wide range of drug offenses. The 
law was amended in 1979 mainly to reduce the penalties for offenses involving marijuana. The 
punishments required by this law for the possession or sale of heroin, cocaine, and other hard drugs 
still rank among the most severe in the nation. 

For example, the harshest provision of this statute mandates a judge to impose a prison term 
of no less than IS years to life for anyone convicted of selling 2 ounces or possessing 4 ounces of 
a narcotic substance. The penalties apply without regard to the circumstances of the offense or the 
individual's character or background. Whether the person is a first-time or repeat offender, for 
instance, is irrelevant. 


PROBLEMS 

The Expense 

As of December 31, 1998, there were over 23,000 drug offenders locked up in New York 
State prisons. It cost the state over S2 billion to construct the prisons to house these people. And 
the operating expense for confining them comes to over $715 million per year. 

Prison Overcrowdina 

To accommodate the tremendous growth in the inmate population caused in part by the 
application of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the State has spent extraordinary sums each year on 
building new prisons. From 1981 through 1996, the State added about 40,000 beds to its prison 
system, at an average constmction cost of $100,000, for a total capital expense, not counting debt 
service, of approximately $4 billion. At the close of 1997's legislative session, policymakers 
approved another 3100 prison beds, all double-celled, virtually all expected to hold inmates charged 



272 


with disciplinary infractions, who will be kept together in their ceils for at least 23 hours a day. It 
cost about $300 million to build these new facilities. Moreover, in his fiscal year 1999-2000 budget. 
Governor Pataki has proposed allocating S3€0 mfllion to build two new double-celled prisons that 
will each confine 1,500 inmates. It will cost the state nsady $100 million every year to opemte these 
maxitnum-seciirity facilities. 

Despite these enormous expenditures. New York's prison expansion has not kept pace with 
the increase in the number of inmates. The State's corrections system is hobbled by crisis conditions. 
Prisons are overcrowded; there are not ^ough programs to productively occupy prisoners; and, 
idleness and tension levels are high. The system has been forced to double bunk or double cell over 
12,000 inmates —an especially hazardous airangement given the presence of tuberculosis and its 
potential to spread among inmates and staff. The State has also been forced to rush a large number 
of prisoners out the back door of the systan, through work release and day reporting programs that 
have not been able to provide participants with adequate support and supervision. 

The Skewed Effect on Law Enforcement 

These statutes result too often in the arrest, prosecution, and long-term imprisonment of 
minor dealers or of persons only marginally involved in the drug trade. Major traffickers usually 
escape its sanctions. The problem is that the Rockefeller Drug Laws place the main criteria for 
culpability on the weight of the drugs In a person's possession when he or she Is apprehended, 
not on the actual role he or she plays in the narcotics transaction. Aware of the law's emphasis, 
drug kingpins are rarely foolish or reckless enough to be caught carrying narcotics; whereas a 
teenage mother, employed as a courier by that same kingpin, is more likely to be picked up on the 
street and charged with a serious felony for having a small amount of drugs in her possession. 

Another criticism of the law is that major dealers often take advantage of its provisions 
pennitting lifetime probation sentences in exchange for cooperation in turning other drug offend^s 
over to the authorities. Less culpable persons generally do not possess information that would be 
useful to prosecutors. These people often decline to plea bargain and insist on a trial instead. If 
these persons are found guilty, they frequently must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of 
15 years to life in prison. 

Our overriding point here is that this statute, as a principal weapon of, and as it is 
implemented in, the so-called 'War Against Drugs’, results directly in the following misguided 
practice: law enforcement agencies focus their efforts on those minor actors in the trade who 
are the most easily arrested, prosecuted, and penalized, rather than on the middle-and high- 
level criminals who are drug dealing's true masterminds and profiteers. 

The Iniustices 

The Rockefeller Drug Laws result in many individual cases of injustice, where people with 
no histories of violent or predatory behavior, who function barely on the margins of outlawed drug 
markets, are slammed with the harshest punishments our criminal justice system can dispense. For 
example, the Correctional Association's research in New York showed that 95 percent of the women 
charged as drug couriers in our sample had no previous criminal involvement. In New York, 


2 




273 


murderers, arsonists and kidnappers fece the same peaaalties as ’drug mules'. Rape, Ihe sexual abuse 
of a child and armed robbery carry i^ser saiKtions. 

Our research showed also that many drag often poor and. uneducated women, are 
coerced by threats of violence or tricked into tran^orting drugs and are therefore hardly culpable 
of the charges. However, many of them, fadng 15 years to life in prison, plead guilty to a lesser 
offense in exchange for a much shorts term of incarceaation. 

Some who are mothers and primary car^ters of children say they are afraid to risk long- 
term separation from their families by presenting thdr cases at trial. In effect, and in a mockery of 
the justice system, the Rockefeller Drag I^ws are being used to bludgeon guilty pleas from people 
who are facing long prison sentences and do not have the resources or savvy to defend themselves. 


RACIAL MATTERS 


The Dmg Laws have a harsh and disproportionate impact on coramimities of color. Studies 
by the FBI and the National Institute for Drag Abuse have shown that whites make up the vast 
majority of people who consume drugs. There is also evidence to suggest that more than Imlf of dn^ 
dealers are white. Yet, most of the people doing time in New York State prisons for a drug offense, 
over 90% in fact, are African-American or Latino. The specific ethnic breakdowns are: blacks 
comprise 48.7% of the drug offenders in state prison; Hispanics, 45.5%; whites, 4.9%. 

If larger numbers of whites participate in buying and dealing drugs, why are so many more 
blacks and Latinos in prison for these crimes? The problem — and it is a problem that is at least 
partially a function of having these drag laws on the books - is that-iaw enforcement efforts focus 
almost entirely on inner city communities of color. In New York City, for example, the police 
squads canying out recent anti-drug initiatives have been sent solely into such areas. 

Much of ihe while dn^ activity takes place behind the clos«i doors of corporate offices and 
suburban living rooms. By contrast, much of the drug trade in minority neighborhoods is carried 
out on the streets where it is much easier to make arrests. 

In addition, foere is probably more violence involved in the drug trade in our low income, 
inner city communities. The drug trade there is more visible, more disniptive to the stability of the 
community and, therefore, there is a greater call for a police response. 

Finally, white middle and upper class people involved in drugs often have the resources and 
political influence to resist law enforcement attempts to punish them. Well-paid, high-powered 
attorneys are just one of the means such people can use to derail the effective prosecution of their 
crimes. 


The head of the narcotics division of the Chicago Police Department may have very well 
been speaking for urban police leaders everywhere when he said: “There is as much cocaine in the 
Stock Exchange as there is in the black community. But those guys are harder to catch. Those deals 
are done in office buildings, in somebody’s home, and there is not the violence associated with it that 


3 



274 


there is in the black community. But the guy standing on the comer, he’s almost got a sign on his 
back. These guys are just arrestabie.” 

The rationale for the policy that produces this outcome migiit make sense superficially, but 
the practices are ultimately discriminatory and have a devastating impact - by uprooting individuals 
and breaking up families - on, communities of color. Repealing the Rockefeller Drug Laws would 
remove a regressive tool from law enforcement’s arsenal and would inevitably lead to a more 
balanced approach on the part of prosecutors and police in the fight against drug abuse. 


PROPOSED CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION REFORM 

The Correctional Association luges repealing the Rockefeller Drag Laws, so that prison 
terms would no longer be mandated for drug offmdeis convicted of the least serious crimes. 

Flexibility in sentencing would allow judges to utilize less costly and more productive 
punishments for many of the minor drug offenders who .have taken up increasing amounts of 
valuable prison space because of the impact of the Rockefeller Drug Laws. It is important to note 
that more than 5,600 people are locked up in New York on a conviction for merely possessing 
narcotics. It costs the state about S180 million a year to keep these individuals conlined. 


AN EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE PUNISHMENT 


The most suitable alternative punishment for these non-violent, drug-involved offenders is 
intensive sup^vision probation that includes such features as day reporting, community service, job 
training, and mandatory participation in proven drug treatment programs.* Implemented 
properly, this program can closely monitor the offenders' behavior while simultaneously providing 
them with support services and making sure, where appropriate, that they repay the community 
and’or the victim for the property stolen or damage done. 


A 1 997 Study by RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center found that treatment is the most 
effective option in the fight against drug abuse, reporting that treatment reduces 15 times more 
serious crime than mandatory minimum sentences. Several stutUes sponsored by the National 
Institute on Drug Abuse have also shown that drag treatment programs, on the whole, are 
successful in reducing the levels of drug abuse and crime among participants and in enhancing 
their ability to hold a job. 


4 





The added value of a well-run altanative punishment is that it gives selected offenders a 

critical opportunity to become law-abiding iiemb«rs of soci^. Under current practices, too many 

people are unnecessarily relegatai to the grim and criminogemc world of state prison. 

BENEFITS OF THE CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION PROPOSAL 

Removing the Rockefeller Drug Laws fiom the books would have several positive effecte; 

a) Expanding the use of effective alternative pimishmcnts for suitable offenders, thereby 
reducing the use of unnecessary incarceration, increasing the availability of needed drug 
treatm^t, and helping to make our crimiiml justice system more fair and rational; 

b) Saving the state substantial sums of money by reducing the number of persons occupying 
expensive prison space who do not have to be locked up for public safety reasons; 

c) Returning appropriate discretion to judges who could then individualize the sentencmg 
decision fox the non-violent, low-risk offender, hi this way scarce prison resources could be 
better focused upon the most serious offenders; and 

d) Providing meaningful relief to the state’s prison overcrowding problem, thereby helping to 
make the state's prisons safer for inmates and corrections offices and more manageable for 
prison administrators. 


For more information on this issue, please contact Robert Gangi, Executive Director of the 
Correctional Association, at 212-254-S700 


February 1999 



276 


Mr. Mica. This is a pretty comprehensive study of the New York 
prison popuiation. i think we have heard the same thing from Mr. 
McDonough. There is a myth here. 

Mr. Boaz, you iook iike you want to respond. But i want to ask 
you a question. 

Mr. Mica. Do you— i think you indicated— and i want to be sure 
about this for the record— want to go beyond marijuana, that any 
type of substance, what is it, category one— Schedule 1, be decrimi- 
nalized, no criminal penalty for possession? 

Mr. Boaz. Right. I wanted to say I don't think there is nec- 
essarily a conflict between the facts you read and the facts Mr. 
Glasser read. The report from New York says that most of the pris- 
oners in New York have had prior criminal records. The report Mr. 
Glasser read said a large portion had not had a violent conviction. 

So the issue comes down to, should people who sell drugs be in 
jail? 

Mr. Mica. That leads to my next question. These people dealing 
in quantities, are traffickers. Possession versus trafficking and 
sales. How far did you want to go on decriminalization? There is 
no penalty, as I understand your position. How about trafficking? 

Mr. Boaz. I would like to see drugs sold in licensed, regulated 
stores, not on street corners and not on playgrounds. You don't see 
very many liquor dealers offering liquor on school yards and play- 
grounds. You see people selling drugs there because it is a com- 
pletely unregulated, unlicensed, illegal business. So I would like to 
see the business treated like alcohol, yes. 

Mr. Mica. OK, so if people were dealing in the manufacture and 
production and trafficking in an illegal, nonregulated fashion, for 
example, producing moonshine you get arrested, and you want the 
same for illegal drugs? 

Mr. Boaz. I grew up in Kentucky and we had a lot of bootlegging 
and moonshining, and my father used to be one of those who tried 
to take people in, so, yes 

Mr. Mica. I am trying to develop a model. We talked about Balti- 
more. Now, let's see how you want to distribute and what types of 
stuff. You don't think we as a Congress or legislative body have 
any responsibility in controlling substances. And we have meth- 
amphetamine. You want that in the same category, even with the 
medical factual information shown in the chart? 

Mr. Boaz. I am not necessarily certain that there couldn't be 
some drug that was so dangerous, so mind altering but 

Mr. Mica. Heroin? 

Mr. Boaz. I would not put heroin in that category. I would rather 
have marijuana, cocaine and heroin produced by Philip Morris and 
distributed by licensed liquor stores, than to have it manufactured 
and distributed by the Cali cartel and distributed on street corners. 
Yes, that is right. 

Mr. Mica. And meth is out of the category? 

Mr. Boaz. I think meth is a good example of something that we 
have seen throughout prohibition in the 1920's and 1990's, which 
is the creation of stronger drugs. When you have these huge profits 
available in an illegal business, as opposed to a legal business, you 
get an incentive to try to supply more and more powerful, smaller 
and smaller kinds of drugs. 



277 


I don't think you would see drugs like crack and meth if we had 
a legal drug market. If we had licensed, regulated stores where you 
could get marijuana and cocaine, you would not see these other 
kinds of drugs being produced. 

Mr. Mica. Mr. Ehlers, I would like to hear about your model. 
Possession across the board? 

Mr. Ehlers. Yes, I would say right now that is considered a de- 
criminalization model. Adults wouldn't be prosecuted only for the 
possession of 

Mr. Mica. Marijuana, heroin, cocaine. Are you in the Boaz 
model? 

Mr. Ehlers. What we are attempting to do is treat drug use and 
drug abuse as a health problem. The problem is if you criminalize 
it, if you tell people they are going to get arrested for being a drug 
user. You are going to push people away from help. 

So that right now I think you have a situation where people are 
afraid to go in for treatment. Actually, there is no treatment avail- 
able; but if it were available, they are afraid of criminal sanctions. 

I think there is another— also the problem of heroin overdoses 
among youth where you have kids who are afraid they are going 
to be arrested and then not helping their friends get to the hospital 
because they don't want to get into trouble. 

Mr. Mica. I am trying to get to the model you would like to see. 
We are a legislative body; we pass the laws for determining what 
is legal and illegal, what is criminal and not. The model is pretty 
clear, marijuana, yes. How about heroin and cocaine? 

Mr. Ehlers. What I would like you to do now is, I have a full 
list in my testimony. I listed all those things that should be done 
now, namely, the repeal of mandatory mini mums, much more 
treatment available, much more prevention available, the reform of 
civil asset forfeiture, restoration of civil liberties, all of those things 
can be done here and now. That is what I want. 

Mr. Mica. What about cocaine and heroin, sales, legalization, 
regulation as described by Mr. Boaz? We operate basically on— ac- 
tually, this Congress operates on the will of the people. 

Mr. Ehlers. Right. 

Mr. Mica. Believe it or not it does. When the people make up 
their mind they want such and such 

Mr. Ehlers. I think the people should be offered— frankly, we 
talk about a lot of different potential models, and we don't advocate 
on behalf of any of those various models that would come under 
regulation. Right now one thing that I think could be tried— both 
of the fellow witnesses have said it hasn't worked— I think there 
is evidence to support the possibility of heroin maintenance. That 
is something that could be tried. M^ical marijuana, that is some- 
thing that should be available. 

Mr. Mica. Do you like the Baltimore model for heroin? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. I am just not sure what the Baltimore model 
is. 

Mr. Mica. Liberalization and 

Mr. Ehlers. The only thing that I was aware of that Kurt 
Schmoke was doing in Baltimore, was that he was expanding nee- 
dle exchange programs which I have seen studies that indicate it 



278 


works, and he has gotten a lot of addicts into treatment, and he 
is expanding treatment. 

I don't know what is he is doing on arrest policy. I do know there 
has been a heroin use problem long before Kurt Schmoke came on 
board. So it is not something we can blame on Kurt. There is a long 
history here. He came into a situation. 

Mr. Mica. What about continuing the regulation of criminaliza- 
tion of trafficking in heroin and cocaine, and methamphetamines? 

Mr. Ehlers. I think we need to discuss the possibility of regula- 
tion, mainly the problems of prohibition and the black market 
which have been discussed before. A regulated market would do 
good things in the sense that we would no longer have criminals 
getting large amounts of money from the trade. We would no 
longer have destabilization of governments in other countries, un- 
dermining the rule of law, the huge prison system we have now. 
There is also tax revenue, to talk about and using that for preven- 
tion and treatment. That is a possibility. It is not something we are 
advocating right here and now. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. 

I have tried to be open and fair in this process. In fact, I think 
we are three to one on this panel. The government also stated its 
position prior to this, the head of the drug policy office and two oth- 
ers. But we conducted this hearing, as I said in the beginning, to 
have an open and civil discussion. There is obviously a difference 
of opinion. 

I intend to have additional hearings to the point of decriminaliza- 
tion looking at the Phoenix, AZ model, talking about medical use 
of marijuana. Some points have come out in this hearing that we 
need to look at, what is going on as far as promotion of these dif- 
ferent positions; the new element raised here today about market- 
ing on the Internet. The Internet didn't exist just a few years ago, 
and we have a whole new scope and range of activities. So that is 
the purpose of the hearing, to open the discussion. I don't know 
that we will reach any conclusions, and you can see there is a great 
diversity of opinion among you and, I am sure, the people in the 
audience and the members of this panel. 

I did want to give Mr. McDonough some time to respond. He did 
want to respond. If you would do that at this time. 

Mr. McDonough. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to 
make a comment on the notion put before you that the fact that 
drugs are against the law deters people from getting treatment. 
Having spent a number of years looking at drug courts, the prison 
system and addicts, it is sad to say but what I find is an addict 
almost never volunteers for treatment. It is only when they are 
under great duress that you see them come forward. This is for the 
rich as well as the poor. Usually with the rich it is we know when 
the spouse has said that is enough, we can't tolerate this anymore 
or the business is about to fail or the profession is about to fail, 
they will quietly go and get treatment. 

The vast majority that come for treatment come for it within the 
criminal justice system. That is to say, the law picks them up after 
they committed about 20 crimes— and that is what the law enforce- 
ment professionals tell me what happens— and if they are given the 



279 


option of going to drug court in lieu of prison, they will accept drug 
treatment. 

Now, interesting to note, the success rates on that in bringing 
down addiction and recidivism rates are very, very good. To be spe- 
cific, in Florida, I have studied the data. Since 1994 we have seen 
seven or eightfold improvement. 

That is to say, you have seven or eight times as much success 
in bringing the recidivism rates down when you have coercion of 
the criminal justice system overhanging the treatment. That is not 
an undignified process for the offender, now the client. The client 
appears before the drug court judge, has to go to treatment, has to 
take his drug or her drug test on a monthly basis, often more often 
than that, and has to successfully get through the program every 
month for 12 months. After 12 months, they graduate. The ideal 
is they are free of drugs, employed, and no longer have a criminal 
activity habit. 

That is what we are seeing in successes. I will tell you my expe- 
rience— the statistics I have looked at it is not the criminal justice 
system that deters people from getting treatment. Actually, it 
seems to be an impetus to treatment. A very good one. So I would 
like to dispel that myth. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. To be totally fair, the only one I don't 
think I have asked a question of or given a chance to respond is 
Mr. Maginnis. Did you want to comment, sir? 

Mr. Maginnis. Mr. Mica, I have a chart and I won't have to use 
it, but 70 percent of Americans oppose cocaine and heroin legaliza- 
tion because they believe, as the DEA indicated, it would lead to 
more violent crime in America. That is one of a number of reasons, 
but if you look at the Chinese opium use at the turn of the century, 
100 million Chinese started using opium. 

If you consider what Dr. Herb Kleeber quoted earlier by the DEA 
and saying how addictive cocaine is, can you imagine if Madison 
Avenue was to market cocaine and heroin as they have cigarettes 
in this country? We produce 600 billion cigarettes a year; we mar- 
ket all over the world. We would certainly produce a purer heroin 
and cocaine and package it with flavors, with everything else and 
it would be pretty widely available but the social consequences— 
the chart the drug czar showed you— would have 110 billion social 
consequences that would go up logarithmically if we did this. 

So it is a deadly pathway. If we want catastrophe for this coun- 
try, go forward. 

Otherwise, I think we should listen to the sanguine and very 
common sense approach that the American people keep telling us 
that drugs are— this is the wrong direction. We need to turn off the 
spigots and hold these people pushing legalization accountable for 
what they are doing whether it's in California, Arizona, or up in 
Washington State. In fact, they are confusing our kids; they are 
contributing to more drug use and more of the problems that we 
have in this country, not helping. 

Mr. Mica. Thank you. Mr. Barr, do you have any final questions? 

Mr. Barr. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

We had asked, Mr. Chairman, I believe, Mr. Soros to come here 
today and testify. I am sorry he didn't. Perhaps he will in the near 
future. But we know, Mr. Chairman, that those associated with the 



280 


Drug Policy Foundation, Arnold Trebach, its founder, is a legalizer 
advocate. We know Richard Dennis on the Drug Policy Foundation 
Board of Directors likewise is an advocate for legalization of all 
drugs, including heroin. 

Ethan Nadelmann with the L indesmith Center and Soros con- 
duits, organizations to which he channels money for legalization ef- 
forts, is also an avowed legalizer. So that really is, Mr. Chairman, 
what we are talking about here. We are talking about the funding 
of an effort in this country similar to what we have seen overseas 
to legalize mind-altering drugs. 

People can come up with all sorts of eloquent reasons why that 
isn't really what they are saying and they really don't want people 
to use drugs and see these awful things happen to them, but that 
is what we are talking about here. We are talking about legalizing 
drugs and saying it's OK for people in the United States of America 
to rely on mind-altering drugs to get by in their daily lives. 

I don't know whether any panelists would relish the thought of 
going into an operating room and having the doctor they see before 
they are put under, probably for the last time, smoking a toke or 
doing a line of cocaine. Maybe they would. I don't know. I certainly 
wouldn't. But that is what we are talking about here. 

We are talking about legalization of mind-altering drugs. They 
are called mind-altering drugs because they alter your mind, and 
one can argue about the extent to which that happens, but it's 
mind-altering drugs for that reason. 

I am somewhat intrigued— and I know time is short— but I am 
still very intrigued by the Drug Policy Foundation and the work 
that it does, and perhaps we can get to that more later on if Mr. 
Soros would be with us. But just a couple of quick questions, Mr. 
Ehlers. 

Does the Drug Policy Foundation— is it a 501(c)3 organization? 

Mr. Ehlers. Yes. 

Mr. Barr. Does the Foundation lobby in support of drug legaliza- 
tion policies? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. We don't lobby on behalf of drug legalization 
policies. We do some lobbying, yes, as 501(c)3s are allowed to do. 

Mr. Barr. It is your view that it is permitted under 501(c)3 sta- 
tus. 

Mr. Ehlers. Yes. 

Mr. Barr. What sort of lobbying do you do? Is it like today 
speaking with Members of Congress and the State legislature your- 
self? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. We do grass-roots lobbying, too. We put out ac- 
tion alerts for members to respond to, and we write about l^isla- 
tion, which isn't necessarily lobbying. I mean, action alerts is the 
primary means of lobbying for us. 

Mr. Barr. And you think that is not inconsistent with being a 
501(c)3 organization? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. 

Mr. Glasser. Mr. Barr, since I am the president of the Drug Pol- 
icy Foundation board and more familiar than Mr. Ehlers, maybe I 
can answer 



281 


Mr. Barr. Mr. Ehlers, maybe I can ask also, would that be con- 
sistent with the position of the Christian coalition, which recently 
came under fire for doing alerts and voter guides and so forth? 

Mr. Glasser. That is political partisan activity. 

Mr. Ehlers. Yes, that is not 

Mr. Glasser. Mr. Barr, as you well know— I know you are talk- 
ing to him, but I am going to answer the question. 

Mr. Barr. You are not appearing here as Mr. Ehlers' attorney. 
I am asking him the questions. 

Mr. Glasser. I am here as Mr. Ehlers' superior on the board, 
and if you want to know about what the Drug Policy Foundation 
does with respect to its tax exemption, I will tell you. He doesn't 
know. 

Mr. Barr. Well, if I wish to hear from you on that, Mr. Glasser, 

I will ask you; and if I don't, I am sure in objective style, Mr. Mica 
will give you additional time. 

Mr. Glasser. If you wish to know the answers to the questions, 
you will ask me; and if you wish to harass Mr. Ehlers, you will ask 
him. 

Mr. Barr. I really don't think that asking questions of somebody 
who comes up here representing a foundation or a legal entity 
about the work that that l^al entity or organization is doing and 
the legal basis on which it is operating without getting into all the 
ins and outs of legalisms which I am not doing is harassing. And 
if I do, then every single witness that comes up here and is ques- 
tioned about their work by any member of any panel on either side 
of the aisle is harassing witnesses, that's not 

Mr. Glasser. If you want to know the answer, you would direct 
it to the person who knows the answer, wouldn't you? We all know 
what you are doing. 

Mr. Barr. With all due deference, you're a great man; but I don't 
think you are the only one that can answer questions. 

Mr. Glasser. I am the only one on this panel who can answer 
those questions. 

Mr. Barr. Well, we'll see. 

Mr. Mica. We don't want to get into some kind of an exchange 
at this point. Mr. Barr was yielded the time. Mr. Barr, do you have 
further questions of the witness? 

Mr. Barr. J ust very briefly, Mr. Chairman, following onto, again, 
some of the policies regarding the Drug Policy Foundation. 

Is the Drug Policy Foundation providing support to the drug le- 
galization efforts in various States, including Florida, Maine, and 
Oregon? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. 

Mr. Barr. It is not engaging in any sort of activities in terms of 
gathering of signatures and whatnot for referenda or for petitions? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. 

Mr. Barr. Are you aware of any work by Mr. Soros currently 
similar to what was engaged in in the California effort with respect 
to signatures for petitions and referenda in other States? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. 

Mr. Barr. Is the Drug Policy Foundation or George Soros, to 
your knowledge, presently accepting any money from any foreign 



282 


entity which promotes drug usage, such as certain companies or 
entities from Colombia or Mexico? 

Mr. Ehlers. Not that I am aware of. 

Mr. Barr. Do you— does the Drug Policy Foundation receive any 
money from any foreign sources? 

Mr. Ehlers. We have members in other countries, yes. 

Mr. Barr. That donate money? 

Mr. Ehlers. Yes. 

Mr. Barr. Provide money? 

Mr. Ehlers. They are members, yes. 

Mr. Barr. Is that just from individuals? 

Mr. Ehlers. As far as I know. 

Mr. Barr. Does the Drug Policy Foundation assist any individ- 
uals or groups who are seeking to obtain drugs for personal use? 

Mr. Ehlers. Could you repeat that? 

Mr. Barr. Does the Drug Policy Foundation assist any individ- 
uals or groups seeking to obtain drugs for personal use? 

Mr. Ehlers. No. 

Mr. Barr. Mr. Glasser, I would be delighted to entertain any in- 
formation you would care to provide to supplement what Mr. 
Ehlers provided in response to questions concerning the tax exempt 
status and lobbying efforts of the Drug Policy Foundation. 

Mr. Glasser. Sure. 501(c)3 organizations are permitted to do a 
certain amount of lobbying under 501(FI) of the Internal Revenue 
Code, which permits various percentages of your total expenditures 
to be used for lobbying up to certain maxi mu ms. 

So lobbying is permitted. That is different from activity that is 
electoral, which is not permitted. The Drug Policy Foundation does 
no such electoral activity. It does do lobbying, both grass roots and 
direct within the limits of 501(FI), and it has elected, under 501(FI), 
as has the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and many 
other 501(c)3 organizations. 

Mr. Barr. When you talk about electoral, does that include seek- 
ing to influence the result of a ballot or referendum in any way? 

Mr. Glasser. No. I just mean elections of individuals to public 
office. Referenda and initiatives are a form of lobbying. It's just di- 
rect instead of legislative, but it's lobbying. 

Mr. Barr. Is that the sort of activity that is permitted, in your 
view, for the Drug Policy Foundation in some states? 

Mr. Glasser. Yes, it is permitted under 501(c)3 if you have elect- 
ed under 501(FI). 

Mr. Barr. If, for example, the Drug Policy Foundation were 
asked to engage in activities in support of a particular candidate 
and you were advising them on that, you would advise them that 
that is not permissible? 

Mr. Glasser. Yes, that is correct. 

Mr. Barr. If they came to you and asked if it was permissible 
to lobby in support of a drug referendum or a particular initiative 
or proposition concerning drug legalization and to, I guess, indi- 
rectly support those who favor it, that would be permissible? 

Mr. Glasser. That's permissible within very restrictive amounts, 
somewhat less than 20 percent of your total expenditures. So un- 
less your total expenditures are very high, you don't get to spend 
very much; but you can spend within those statutory amounts, yes. 



283 


Mr. Barr. But if the organization has a generous benefactor and 
that person donates large amounts of money, in your view, the 
amount of money that the organization would have to engage in 
that sort of lobbying would increase. You say it is on a percentage? 

Mr. Glasser. Yes. It would, to a dollar limit. The limit in the 
law is that no matter how much money you have and no matter 
what the applicable percentages, you can't spend more than $1 mil- 
lion. I n any case, the amount of money that Mr. Soros provides the 
Drug Policy Foundation is entirely for a grant program in which 
we make grants to other organizations. So none of that money is 
used for any of those purposes. 

Mr. Barr. When you use the figure $1 million, is that per State 
or per issue or per 

Mr. Glasser. No, that is per organization. If a 501(c)3 organiza- 
tion elects under 501(H) of the code to do a certain amount of lob- 
bying, it is a percentage— graduated percentage of amounts; but in 
no situation can you spend more than $1 million, no matter what 
the percentages are. So, say 20 percent or $1 million, whichever is 
less. 

Mr. Barr. Could you increase that if one established subsidiaries 
under that parent organization, for example? 

Mr. Glasser. No. Because the statute and the Emulations define 
affiliated organizations in ways that have to do with whether you 
are controlling them or not. So you can't multiply those limits by 
having subsidiaries that you control. 

Mr. Barr. OK. Thank you very much. Maybe this is the sort of 
thing we can get into later. I very much appreciate, Mr. Glasser, 
your elucidation; and I appreciate the testimony of the witnesses 
and appreciate the chairman for calling this very important hear- 
ing. Thank you. 

Mr. Mica. I thank the gentleman. I have a unanimous consent 
request to include in the record an article entitled, "Should Safer 
Smoking Kits Be Distributed to Crack Users?" 

[The information referred to follows:] 



284 


symposium 


‘safe) 
istributc 


iers 


? 


Yes: It may seem 
outrageous, but 
our moral duty is 
to save lives — no 
matter whose. 


By Arnold S. Trebach 

Trebach, professor 
emeritus at American 
University, is the 
founder and former 
president of the Drug 
Policy Foundation and 
author of a forthcom- 
ing book on modern 
drug-policy reform. 



I am writing this with a crack-cocaine kit next to my woi-d 
processor. This is the first one I haw ever seen. The small plas- 
tic envelope does not contain crack, but it does contain a small 
nibber inomhpiece and filters forfiiepipe, alcoliol v-ipes, antibi- 
otic ointment, vitamin C tablets and condoms — two of them. 

The kit is accompanied by a pamphlet from the Bridgeport, 
Conn., Health Department which tells crack smokers: “Avoid 
cut lips.... Have safer sex,... Be careful with your stem or 
pipe.... Take care! Don’t share!” The pamphlet is chock-full of 
explicit advice such as, “Don’t get cut lips! Cuts caused by sharp 
or hot pipes can expose pipers and others to infectious diseases, 
especial^ when you haw oral sex without a condom, daital dam, 
a lat^ barrier.” 

My instinctive reaction is to be repulsai 1^ mucii of this, tire 
kit and the advice on the pamphlet; this is intimate behavior that 
should be discussed only behind closed doors. My traditional 
mores were jolted a bit mirre when I read the small print on the 
front of the pamphlet; “Funding provided by Drug Policy Foun- 
dation.” I recently retired as president of the Drug Policy Foun- 
dation and 1 do not speak for it, but as I reflect on this grant, I 
am proud of the award and hope diat the foundation and other 
funders provide more like it. Here is svhy. 

I^tsoTial mor^ and instinctive r^nrlsiw reactitms are to be 
heeded but they should not jule public-policy decisioiK in the 
arena of health. Much of standard medicine involves im^ive 
procedures and advice from physicians and nurses that is, quite 
frankly, repulsive. Good medicine is at times embarrassing. 

Middle- and upper-class folks get that advice in flie privacy 
of a medical suite. The crack smokers among them wo^d, one 


assumes, get very direct advice on how to use 
crack in the most healthy fashion fr om their 
private doctors and nuises. Public-health 
measures, as embodied in the crack kit and 
the pamphlet, often involve connecting 
lower-class and rnaiginalized citizens to 
some form of middle-class medical service. 

Some years ago I labeled the underlying 
philosophy of this approach “mcdicaliza- 
tion,” By that I meant that society should 
make the sometimes-difficult choice of 
approaching behavior in the maiginal arena that blends citni- 
nal and medical deviance by calling a doctor ratherthan a police 
officer. One of the earliest and best examples of this philosophy 
was embodied in the Rolleston Report^ published in Britain in 
1926, Miich stated that addicts were suffeiiug from a disease 
and that sometimes it was proper medical treatment for doctors 
to provide them with their drugs of addiction on a long-term 
maintenance basis. 

Recently, drug-control leaders in Europe came up with a 
broader adaptation of the Rolleston philosophy, wltich niiglit be 
called “medicalization plus.” They called it “harm reduction.” 
Harm reduction reluctantly accepts the use of drugs in modem 
society, rejects tite notion of seeking a drug-free society as inher- 
ently utyx>ssibte, accepts drug users as potentially decent human 
beings witfi dignity, recognizes nevertiieless that drugs do cajse 
harm and then sets out to design programs that reduce the dam- 
age that drugs caiBe to individuals and to the public at large. 

The It^cal progretision from Rolleston to crack kits is as fol- 
lows. First, addicts and dmg users are worthy subjects of care and 
compassion. Second, drug maintenance on the drug of addiction 
is a pix^r procedure for some of tliem; it relieves their agonies 
and helps society Iw reduciiig the crime and chaos of tlie black 
maket Hiird, since many addicts inject and share needles if they 
are nrt easily arailable, it is within the medical model to provide 
clean needles to reduce the spread of blood-borne diseases such 
as hepatitis and, now much more compelling, AIDS. Fourtii, 
addicts do not understand the best waj's of injecting; accord- 

ingty, they should be tauglit safe injecting practices lest they hurt 
themselves. Finally, because needle- (continued on page 26) 


24 • Insight 


December 29, 1997 



285 


a 

=5 


TREBACH: cqi0ttt^jwm page 24 


availability programs do not reach crack smokers spread dis- 

^ ease by sharing pipes and risky sexual behavior, disease-preven- 
g tion devices and instructions should be given to these smokers. 

Harm reduction is sweeping the civilized world, especially 
the Western democracies, including Australia. Virtually every 
major drug-policy reform organization in those countries, 
including the Drug Policy Foundation, espouses harm reduction 
as its central focus. (There is no worldwide legalization lobby, 
as charged by Rachel Ehrenfeld and some other critics, allhou^ 
1 personally wish there were. Thus, the chaige that key harm- 
reduction funders, especially George 
Soros, are secret legalizers is an extremist 
nightmare without a shred of factual basis.) 

Within tlie worldwide reform movement, 
harm reduction has become the accepted 
wisdom in the middle ground. The Bridge- 
port crack-outreach program fits squarely 
within that moderate, sensible middle 
ground. Not radical or chic or daring, 
except in a few new details — and except 
for those among us who want to treat drug 
deviants as Torquemada did Jews during 
the Spanish Inquisition: You have two 
choices — either convert to our way of 
believing or die. 

Such a posture is morally obscene and 
perverse. Yet that, in effect, is what the opponents of harm reduc- 
tion are saying: Harm reduction condones and encourages drug 
use; the only policy for a free society is zero tolerance of drug 
use, whatever the cost. In truth, zero tolerance condemns other 
human beings to a horrible, lingering death. That is what US. 
drug policy, driven by the zero-tolerance policy, does. It kills peo- 
ple. It is a form of genocide imposed on those who inhabit the 
margins of mainstream society. 

This dreadful indictment is based mainly on the government’s 
own figures and on prestigious reports on the deadly mix of drugs 
and AIDS, which is made even more lethal by Ae zero-toler- 
ance policy. The consistency of results from recent scientific stud- 
ies of the impact of needle exchange and availability are strik- 
ing. Every major scholarly, medical or scientific body to inquire 
into this key component of harm reductimr has reached favor- 
able findings of its health benefits in that it lends to inhibit the 
spread of disease, especially AIDS and hqratitis. 

Nevertheless, the U.S. government callously has ignored that 
advice and that of other experts and maintains its opposition to 
supporting operational funding for needle-Kcchange programs, 
which function, when they can, in a legal gray area supported 
by private and state and local funds. In 1997 two leading 
researchers — physician Peter Lurie of the University of Michi- 
gan and professor Ernest Drucke of Albert Einstein College of 
Medicine in New York — calculated conservatively that nee- 
dle-exchange programs could have prevented up to 9,666 HTV 
infections among intravenous, or ly drugs users, their sex part- 
ners and children between 1987 and 1995 in the United States. 


The researchers also estimated that if more needle-exchange pro- 
grams were implemented, an additional 1 1,300 HIV infections 
could be prevented by the year 2000. Translation: All 2 1 ,000 of 
these people will die in part because of U.S. policy, and that is 
just tihe tip of the iceberg. 

The official federal data on AIDS, recently succinctly sum- 
marized by the Lindesmith Center in New York, show a con- 
tinuing catastrophe unlike few in our entire history. Among 
African-Americans age 25 to 44, AIDS is the leading cause of 
death. It is the second-leading cause of death of all Americans 
within that age group. Approximately half 
of all new HIV infections occur among IV 
drug users, their sexual partners and off- 
spring. As of June 1997, 36 percent or 

221.000 of all U.S. AIDS cases had 
occurred among fV drug users, their sex- 
ual partners or children. Of these unfortu- 
nate people, 128,000 have died. At least 

5.000 of these victims were children. Fifty- 
three percent of all children bom with 
AIDS were the offspring of IV dmg users 
and tiieir sexual parmers. 

While the scientific support for harm 
reduction is overwhelming, little of it deals 
with crack outreach but mainly with nee- 
dle exchange. The crack programs are loo 
new for the accumulation of much scientific data, but they oper- 
ate on the same assumptions as needle exchange or needle avail- 
ability. Indeed, as Mark Kinzly, a former addict who coordinates 
the street outreach program in Bridgeport, explains, “The crack- 
outreach project operates from a needle-exchange program, We 
saw that we were reaching injecting addicts but not enough crack 
smokers. If we wanted to save more lives, we had to come up 
with some approach to crack users who were not injecting.” 

The program operates under the energetic leadership of 
Jesus Gomez, director of the HIV program in the city health 
department. Kinzly spends a good deal of time on the streets in 
the department van that distributes clean needles, crack kits and 
more — food, advice and trust. There is something that goes on 
in that van,” BCinzIy told a reporter. “It’s a trust factor. When they 
see you every day, they come to tmst you.” Kinzly and Gomez 
reach out to people often hidden from view, who live and die 
anonymously, ignored by hard-line drug policymakers. “When 
you connect witii people who have no hope,” IGnzly says, “they 
grab it! Those v^fio do not change and get off drugs, at least 
they’re healthier.” 

Beyond n^die exchange and safe crack smoking is the holy 
grail of cure; achieving abstinence. That is part of the harm- 
reduction methodology, although it often is ignored by critics. 
Gomez says, “We always encourage the users we see to con- 
sider going in for treatment, and when they are ready we attempt 
to arrange that — although there are not enough treatment slots 
in the state. But even so, over the last two years we have got- 
ten over 300 addicts into treatment. Those 300 people are in 


Zero tolerance con- 
demns human 
beings to a honible, 
lingering death. It is 
a form of genocide 
imposed on those 
who inhabit the 
margins of main- 
stream society. 


26 • /ns/ght 


December 29, 1997 



286 


No: Such efforts 
will spread crack 
use and expand 
the reach of 
drug tragedy. 


By Rachel Ehrenfeld 

Ehrenfetd is author of 
Narco-TOTorism and 
Evil Monq': Encoun- 
ter Along the Money 
Trail and writes fre- 
quently on the issues 
of drug policy and 
mon^ laundering. 



“Using crack is like playing Russian roulette where a sub- 
stantial number of the chambers are filled rather than empty” 
says Herbert Kleber, professor of psychiatry at Columbia Uni- 
versity and medical director of the National Center on Addic- 
tion and Substance Abuse. 

“There is no ‘safe way’ to use it” he emphasizes, “because 
the danger of crack lies in the compelling way it takes control of 
behavior. Once crack has its control, the side effects — both phys- 
ical and mental — then follow. In my 3 0 yeais in the field, crack 
is the most dangerous and addicting drug I’ve encountered.” 

This expert opinion is not shared by the Washington-based 
Drug Policy Foundation, or DPF, a grant-making and advoca- 
cy organization which funds the distribution of “safe-use” kits 
for crack smokers, and San Francisco’s Tides Foundation, 
which is dedicated to promoting social diversity and change by 
way of grant-making. Both organizations support “alternative” 
drug policies, such as needle-exchange programs, under the 
guise of “harm reduction.” Billionaire Geoige Soros funds bodi. 
DPF received several million dollars fi’om Soros during the last 
four years. Soros gave the Tides Foundation SI million fornee- 
dle exchanges in August, saying at the time that the grant was 
“a lifesaver, not a ruse to legalize drugs.” 

Interviewed by the New York Times in August, Soros said 
that he is helping to fight “the evils and misguided policy of 
the drug war.” Somewhat paradoxically, Soros has written that 
he favors the legal distribution of many banned drugs, but not 
the most dangerous, such as crack cocaine. 

Mark Kinzly, the Bridgeport, Conn., Health Department’s 
needle-exchange, safe-crack-use program coordinator and a 
founding member of the People of Color Harm Reduction Com- 
munity Partnership, presented the “Piper (Crack) Smokers” user 
kit and the “Shoot Smart, Shoot Safe” pamphlet on Nov. 1 8 at 
the Soros-funded Lindesmith Center in New York. Kinzly 
introduced the user kit at the 1 1 th International Conference on 
Drug Policy Reform of the Drug Policy Foundation in Octo- 
ber. The 200 kits he brought were snatched up like hotcakes, 
says an eyewitness. 

The user kit includes two condoms, antiseptic towelettes, 
triple antibiotic ointment, two alcohol swabs, five vitamin C 
tablets, copper wool, a few rubber bands, a rubber mouthpiece 
and apamphlet with the following instructions; “Avoid cut lips, 
have safer sex, be careful with your stem or pipe.” Following 
are instructions for “Safer Using” and “Things Not To Do.” A 
person who had never used crack before would find Ihe instruc- 
tions quite helpful: “Use a glass or metal stem with mouthpiece. 
Don’t get cut lips. Let pipe or stem cool down before takii^ 


next hit to prevent burning or cutting lips.” 

According to Cathy Rigby, the program 
coordinator in Philadelphia, 200 user kits 
are supplied each week — at least 20,800 
kits in the last two years. Kinzly says that 
some 2,300 user-kits were handed out in 
Bridgeport. 

The “Shoot Smart, Shoot Safe,” pam- 
phlet, with “tips for safer crack injection” 
brochure, seems to mark a new develop- 
ment in the campaign to legalize, or “med- 
icalize” illegal drugs. In addition to how-to instructions, the 
brochure contains pictures demonstrating proper injection. 
The instructions begin with “Get your stuff ready” and follows 
with a detailed recipe; “ 1 ) Have a cooker, water, syringe, citric 
or ascorbic-acid (avoid vinegar or lemon juice, which can lead 
to serious infections), cotton and alcohol wipes ready; 2) Put 
crack and citric or ascorbic acid (about a pinch to a slab) in cook- 
er. Add plenty of water; smash and mix well; 3) Add cotton and 
draw up into syringe.” 

It goes on to instruct; “Get a vein ready: 1 ) Tie off, find a good 
vein and clean with alcohol wipe; 2) Inject. Make sure you are 
in the vein, register, look for blood back flow in syringe; 3) Slow- 
ly push plunger in for injection. Tliis helps to prevent vein trau- 
ma and collapse; 4) Withdraw needle. Apply pressure for about 
a minute. Use clean gauze, tissue, cloth or whatever you have 
handy.” The pamphlet also recommends to rotate injection sites, 
use antibiotic ointment and drink plenty of fluids. 

Kinzly explains that since there is an emerging trend of 
injecting crack among users, citric and ascorbic acid are hand- 
ed out with brochures for “safe injecting tips.” Bridgeport’s main 
goal, he says, is to eliminate or decrease the risky behavior asso- 
ciated with smoking and injecting dangerous dnigs and thus to 
reduce HIV and AIDS infections. 

The benefits of so-called harm-reduction programs have yet 
to be proved. However, if the recent results of an epidemiolog- 
ical study in Vancouver, British Columbia are any indication, 
we can expect that the expansion of needle-exchange projects 
will cause rapid growth of HIV and AIDS cases. Martin 
Schechterofthe University of British Columbia found that Van- 
couver has one of the highest rates of HIV infection — nearly 
20 percent annually — and among the worst AIDS epidemics 
in North America. This situation exists despite Vancouver’s 
ambitious needle-exchange program, which started in 1 988 and 
is the largest in North America. More than 2.5 million needles 
are distributed annually and many addicts, says Schechter, 
changed habits — instead of two or three heroin injections a 
day fliey switched to a dozen or more cocaine injections. “The 
number of injections per day goes up [while] the ability to take 
precautions goes way down,” he said. “That’s how you get this 
explosion.” Quipped Robert DuPont, a former director of the 
National Institute on Drug Abuse, “the people who distribute 
these Ddts] are not hann reductionists but hann productionists.” 

These things are done with the claim that this will reduce AIDS 
and HTV infections. “But the fact is that sexual promiscuity asso- 
ciatedwith crack is the lead[ing] cause for new cases of HIV and 
AIDS,” StyS James Curtis, director of (continued on page 27) 


December 29, 1997 


Insight • 25 




287 


treatment now and before we came along, they didDl:evenlaK>w 
It was available.” 

Rich, a Bridgeport addict, loathes liis desperate condition 
and wants desperately to kick his addiction. He came to the 
van for needles, advice and some comfort. Several months 


ago he said, “If 1 can ever beat this I don’t want to beat it and 
t3*ai have AIDS.” That is consistent with what a Liver- 
pudlian drag worker told me many years ago over a bowl of 
soup at my dining-room table: ‘Tt is very hard to rehabilitate 

a dead addict” • 


EHRENFELD: cofOimi&i fiom pa^25 


psychiatry and substance -abuse services at Harlem Hospital Cen- 
ter and a professor of p.sycliiatry at Columbia University College 
of Physicians and Surgeons. “And giving two a'mdomsto crack 
usera is a cynical gesture,” he adds. Curtis ^ys, ‘'Crack is the most 
addictive of all drugs and it has the most devastating el^ of dl 
illegal drugs. 'We have at least 15 c^es each day whae crack 
caused people to behave violently so that they are brought to die 
psychiatric emergency room,” he said. 

“We read a great deal [arguing] that crack use is on the 
decline, but at Harlem Hospital psychiatric emergency room die 
drop is not noticeable as advertised. It is par- 
ticularly distiessia^,” Curbs, “that at a 
time when cr^ use is apjiaienfly dropping, 
these people are promoting crack use. It 
seems that they are giving a jump start to a 
new. epidemic, Tliis is geuocidal in effect, 
if not by intent, towards the black conumi- 
nity. We can eqpectthatthis propaganda will 
have de\rastating effects on minority groups, 
will uicrease crime rates, prostitution, wreck 
family life and increase the number of 
neglected and abused children that require 
foster- care. All would be the immediate ccai- 
sequences one can «ipect with such pro- 
paganda.” 

As fcJT needle-excliatige programs in 
general, Curtis’ view is that these are “fran.sj^arent attempts to 
legalize drugs,” especially since those who participate in harm- 
reduction needle-exchange programs are exempt from arrest. 

According to Kmzly, theirproject is widely supported by local 
public officials, leadai-s, politicians, wll-known crack users and 
police officers, ‘'Inst^ of arresting the^ guys, [the police] are 
bringing them to oui- van,” said Kinzly. (The van is a converted 
bookmobile that can service about 20 addicts at one time.) He 
explains that the van is a ‘ ‘safe place, nonjudgmental and it belongs 
to the community it’s serving.” That communi ty involvement had 
been the reason for their success, he adds proudly. 

The nature of that success eludes thcKe who have to deal with 
Hie (.Irug epidemic. New York City Police Commi^ion«' Howmi 
Sa& didn’t mince words denouncing this activity: “Any gov- 
ernmental agency giving instructions how to utilize illegal sub- 
stances, even with the best intentions, does a dangerous disser- 
vice to the public. Public agencies should encourage abstinence 
and treatment. This is a dangerous precedent.” 

Rep. Bob Barr, a Geoigia Republican, renting to news of 
distribution of the safe-use kits, says: “Everyone has s^n that 
crack destroys lives, communities and neighborhoods. This 


mind-destroying drug has cost America a generation, particu- 
larly in our inner cities. I can’t think of anything more short- 
sighted, more ironicany tragic, than assisting crack users witli 
death kits. America wtillpay a very dear price if we don’t 
dangerous trend,” “The irony of the pamphlet is sick- 
ening,” ^rees Rqj. Mark So jder, an Indiana Republican.. “It 
claims to tell a drug user how to smoke crack safely, but every 
single pointer highlights in glaring detail that there is no sa fe- 
ty In drug use.” 

Former drug czar 'Winiam Bennett sttys, “Distributing a ‘safe 
crack-use kit' is a terrible, preposterous 
idea. These gitys have gor^ off die deep 
end. There is no sucli thing as ‘safe crack 
use.’ What we’re talking about is not rock- 
et science. We know what crack cocaine 
docs to people, medically, pltysically, spir- 
itually. It devastates lives, and it triggers vio- 
lence.” 

Psychiatrist Mark Gold, a professor at 
the University of Florida Brain Ir.stitute at 
Gainesville and one of the first to report on 
the crack-smoking phenomenon, warns: 
“Cocaine injection and crack smoking are 
the most devastating and dangerous among 
all otlter illegal drugs because their use is 
not associated with society. Use occurs in 
escalating hinges until the supply is exhausted, nr the user has a 
shoke, seizure or heait attack or some otlier major psychiatric 
disturbance. Based on scientific studies in humans, cocaine (and 
crack) use are impossible to control. Suggesting that crack can 
be used safely is mis^ded, naive and dragerous.” 

With the advantege of Soros’ checkbook advocacy and 
advanced mariceting techniques, which lean heavily on emo- 
tional ailments for compassion, prolegalization initiatives to 
“medical ize” or decrinrinalize drugs in the United States by the 
end of 1998 are in full gear. (Although drug czar Barry McCaf- 
frey has opposed using federal funds for needle ecch^ges, our 
repeated requests for McCaffrey to condemn distributions of 
the kits were ^.ored.) 

As for the direction these “safe crack-use” kits are lead- 
ing, perhaps Bennett said it best when he recently wrote: “We 
ougjit to take this as a warning about where many of the drug 
l^alizers ultimately want to go. The brave new world of drug 
l^alization vwuld leave us with a society filled with far more 
dn^ addiction, more violence and more w'asted and lost lives. 
That’s precisely why have to fight to see to it that tlieir 
ideas don’t prevail.” • 


‘Tins mind-destroy- 
ing drag has cost 
yVmerica a genera- 
tion. I can’t think of 
anything more 
shortsighted than 
assisting crack 
users with these 
death kits.’ 


Decerx\hQr29, 1997 


Insight • 27 




288 


Mr. Mica. Another unanimous consent request to insert "Crack 
Smokers Directions," here from the Drug T reatment Services of the 
Bridgeport Connecticut Health Department. 

[The information referred to follows:] 



Pipers (Crack) 
Smokers: 



DEPARTMENT 

576-7679 



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Mr. Mica. Additional unanimous consent request to submit an 
article entitled, "High on a Lie," by Daniel Levine. 

[The information referred to follows:] 



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295 


Mr. Mica. And any other materials submitted without objection 
will be made a part of the record. 

[Note.— Substantial additional information referred to may be 
found in subcommittee files.] 

[The information referred to follows:] 



296 



(610! 259-0700 


30 S(3UTH Vallct Roao, SuiTf 2!2 
Paoii, PA 19301 
(6101 6^0-9064 

MIGRATORY BIRO 
CONSERVATIOK COMMISS(ON 
REPUBLICAN POLICY COMMITTEE 
E-irtll euilpa7(9hr.heu«*.(0v 


A.PR11 


Cortgreg^^{4fjrMnite& ^tate£i 


J^ouoe o{ BepresentatibeO 
MaBbinatoiL 20515-3807 
April 15. 1997 


REStABCH AKO MVEIOPMENT. CHAIFMAW 
HLADOIESS 

MERCHANT MARINE PANEL 

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 

ENERCT ANOENVIBONMEMT 
BAS'C RESEARIX 


CO-CHAIRMAN: 


CONSRESSII3NAL FIRE SERVICES CAUCUS 
US FSU ENERGY CAUCUS 
TME EMPOWERMENT CAUCUS 
OlOeE OCEAN PROTECTION TASK FORCE 
CONGRESSIONAL MISSILE OS -ENSE CAUCUS 


Dear Colleague: 

Like many of you, my office constituent E-mail system has been filled with 
correspondence from people all over the United States arguing the case for the legalization of 
Marijuana. Their arguments, while disjointed and difficult to follow, present an excellent case 
for the continued restrictions on Marijuana. For your amusement and interest, please find below 
a small simple of reasons why drugs continue to hurt our youth. 


“The people who use Marijuana are only hurting themselves.” 

-Nick 


“I FEEL THE MARY JANE SHOULD BE LEGALIZED. SHE MEANS NO HARM TO THOSE 
WHO DO NOT BELIEVE THAT SHE IS A BRINGER OF PEACE. MANY PEOPLE HAVE 
THIS BLINDED POINT OF VIEW ABOUT MY BABY, BUT THAT IS PREJUDGING THE 
POWER OF THE PLANT.” 

•Anonymous 


“I know what your (sicj thinking, right some kid who listens to heavy metal until his brains come 
out his bead, and tells his mom to f**k off!! 

•Nicholas 


“I am a victim of the so-called “drug wars.” In Oct 1994, 1 lost my privilege to drive an automobile 
for 6 months just for the simple reason of being in the possession 2 small “roaches ” 

-Christopher 


“AND I QUOTE “ALL MEN ARE CREATED WQUAL”“ 

-Scott 


“Legalize it now f**ker8” 


-Adam 


“it would stop the drug war and -make a lot of people happy if you made the d*mn sh*t LEGAL, 
LEGAL D*MN IT, YOU HEAR ME, 1 KNOW THAT YOUR READING THIS LETTER, AND 
wellthatsit!!!!” 

-Nicholas 


I hope you find their arguments as convincing as I do. 



Member of Congress 




George Soros Peter Lewis John Sperling 

$550,000 $500,000 $200,000 



Californians for Medical Rights 

Campaign for the "Compassionate Use Act” 
to legalize medical marijuana 


SOURCE: CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE 



298 


Mr. Mica. As I said, we will leave the record open for at least 
2 weeks if additional documentation and information is wished to 
be submitted either by the public or other groups. 

There being no further business to come before the subcommit- 
tee, I would first like to thank each of the panelists for their pa- 
tience and participation and for their contribution today. 

It is a difficult subject, and there is a lot of controversy surround- 
ing it and difference of opinion. But we hope to continue this dis- 
cussion and again hear these topics fairly and openly in future pan- 
els. Thank you. 

This meeting of the subcommittee is adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 3:30 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.] 

O